HR & Employee Health
Modified on 8/29/2021 at 01:21pm

Resources, guidance, and policies for faculty and staff on what to do if you feel sick, pay practices, travel, holding events, and wellness and prevention.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. All information is meant for use by health care workers and not the general public. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. No physician-patient relationship is created by this web site or its use. Neither the University of Iowa nor its employees, nor any contributor to this web site, makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided herein or to its use.

Employee health - COVID-19 questions

If you are concerned about symptoms:
Updated on 09/02/2021 at 5:00 pm

If staff are concerned about having symptoms of COVID-19, call ahead to the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) at 319-356-3631. Please do not arrive in person unless you’ve been told to do so for follow-up.

Effective Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) COVID-19 employee phone line is staffed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Contact tracers will be available during this time and will assist UEHC with their expertise.

If calling outside of these times, your call will be redirected to the Integrated Call Center (ICC) for assistance, and wait times may be longer. Employees with a question concerning COVID-19 outside of the call line hours may also call the hospital’s COVID-19 hotline for general questions at 319-384-8819 or to schedule an appointment call 319-384-9010.

COVID-19 symptoms may include:

  • Fever of 100.0 F or greater
  • New/worsening sore throat
  • New/worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • New/worsening congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste and/or smell
  • New/worsening GI symptoms

See below for what to do if you are exposed to COVID-19 or feel unwell.

What to do if you had high-risk exposure at work or outside of work
Updated on 09/02/2021 at 5:00 pm

Note: Guidelines are updated frequently to remain up to date with current guidance. For questions about employee exposure guidelines, please call the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631.

Guidance for asymptomatic employees with a high-risk exposure

Employee is fully vaccinated:

Employees who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 who experience a high-risk exposure to a person with lab-confirmed COVID-19 and are ASYMPTOMATIC (no symptoms):

  • Do not need to be placed on work restrictions
  • Should wear a mask in public for 14 days following exposure, including all UI Health Care facilities—unless alone in a private office
  • Should be tested on day 3–5 following exposure
    • If the employee notifies the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) of the exposure after day 5:
      • Day 6–10, test immediately
      • Day 11–14, no test needed

Employee is not fully vaccinated:

Employees NOT fully vaccinated for COVID-19 who experience a high-risk exposure to a person with lab confirmed COVID-19 and are ASYMPTOMATIC (no symptoms):

  • Are required to go on work restrictions for 14 days
  • Are not allowed to return to work (under work restriction) until they receive a negative test
  • Must be tested on day 7 following exposure
    • If the employee notifies UEHC of the exposure after day 7
      • Day 8–10, test immediately
      • Day 11–14, no test needed
  • May come to work after negative test on day 7 while maintaining quarantine in all other aspects of life. The employee must wear a face mask at all times while at work.

As a reminder, you are considered fully vaccinated if ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

Employees with a household member who has active COVID-19 infection or other ongoing exposures:

Employees who have an ongoing exposure to a household member who has an active COVID-19 infection have high-risk exposures each day that the household member is in isolation. These employees:

  • Should be tested on day 0 (or the day the exposure is first identified)
  • Vaccinated employees should be tested on day 3-5 following the first exposure AND 3-5 days after the last possible exposure.  For a household exposure, this is 3-5 days after the household contact leaves isolation
  • Unvaccinated employees should be tested on day 7 following the first exposure AND 7 days after the last possible exposure.  For a household exposure, this is 7 days after the household contact leaves isolation
  • Vaccinated employees are not restricted from work but must wear a mask at all times at work and pay strict attention to all other safety procedures until 14 days following their last possible exposure.  For household exposures, this is 14 days after the household contact leaves isolation.
  • Unvaccinated employees are restricted from work.  They may come to work after a negative test 7 days after the last exposure.  The employee must wear a mask at all times at work and pay strict attention to all other safety procedures until 14 days following their last possible exposure.

Guidance for symptomatic employees with a high-risk exposure

If at any time an employee becomes symptomatic—regardless of their vaccination status, they should stay home and call the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) at 319-356-3631, option 3 for guidance.

  • Employees who become symptomatic will be encouraged to receive a COVID-19 test. If the employee does not receive a COVID-19 test they will be placed on work restrictions through the isolation period.
  • If the test is negative, they may return to work when:
    • No fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication
    • Symptoms are improving
  • While symptomatic, employees should:
    • Wear a mask at all times
    • Isolate at home until day 10 from date of symptom onset (isolation means not coming into work, staying home and away from others within your home)
  • Symptoms that should prompt a call to UEHC include:
    • Fever of 100.0 F or greater
    • New/worsening sore throat
    • New/worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • New/worsening congestion
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Loss of taste and/or smell
    • New/worsening GI symptoms

High-risk exposure criteria

At work, high-risk exposure is:

  • When an employee at work is within 6 feet of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive person and exposed for 15 minutes or more (cumulative minutes over the course of 24 consecutive hours) AND:
    • The employee is not wearing a respirator or face mask (regardless of PPE worn by the infected person)
      • OR
    • The COVID-19 positive person is not wearing a mask AND the employee is not wearing both a face mask and eye protection.

Exposure criteria at work

Exposure  PPE used 
Employee who had high-risk close contact with a patient, visitor, or health care worker with confirmed COVID-19
  • Employee not wearing a respirator or facemask.
  • Employee not wearing eye protection if the source person is not wearing a face mask (cloth or medical grade).
  • Employee not wearing all recommended PPE (i.e., gown, gloves, eye protection, respirator) while performing an aerosol-generating procedure.

Outside of work, high-risk exposure is:

  • When an employee is exposed for 15 minutes or more and within 6 feet of a lab confirmed COVID-19 positive person (regardless of mask use)

Exposure criteria in the community

Exposure for employees who had high-risk contact with a person with laboratory confirmed COVID-19  Comments 
Household If COVID-19 positive household member is unable to isolate at home (including use of a shared bathroom), employee may need to be placed on quarantine if not fully vaccinated. UEHC will determine if you should be placed on work restriction due to your exposure.
Community It is considered a high-risk exposure if longer than 15 minutes within 6 feet, regardless of mask wearing.

NOTE: Anytime during performance of an aerosol generating procedure if employee is not wearing proper PPE—regardless of the duration—is considered a high-risk exposure.

High-risk exposure definition
Updated on 08/26/2021 at 8:16 am

High-risk exposure criteria

At work, high-risk exposure is: 

  • When an employee at work is within 6 feet of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive person and exposed for 15 minutes or more (cumulative minutes over the course of 24 consecutive hours) AND: 
    • The employee is not wearing a respirator or face mask (regardless of PPE worn by the infected person) 
      • OR 
    • The COVID-19 positive person is not wearing a mask AND the employee is not wearing both a face mask and eye protection. 

Exposure criteria at work 

Exposure  PPE used 
Employee who had high-risk close contact with a patient, visitor, or health care worker with confirmed COVID-19 
  • Employee not wearing a respirator or facemask. 
  • Employee not wearing eye protection if the source person is not wearing a face mask (cloth or medical grade). 
  • Employee not wearing all recommended PPE (i.e., gown, gloves, eye protection, respirator) while performing an aerosol-generating procedure. 

Outside of work, high-risk exposure is: 

  • When an employee is exposed for 15 minutes or more and within 6 feet of a lab confirmed COVID-19 positive person (regardless of mask use) 

Exposure criteria in the community 

Exposure for employees who had high-risk contact with a person with laboratory confirmed COVID-19  Comments 
Household   If COVID-19 positive household member is unable to isolate at home (including use of a shared bathroom), employee may need to be placed on quarantine if not fully vaccinated. UEHC will determine if you should be placed on work restriction due to your exposure. 
Community  It is considered a high-risk exposure if longer than 15 minutes within 6 feet, regardless of mask wearing. 

NOTE: Anytime during performance of an aerosol generating procedure if employee is not wearing proper PPE—regardless of the duration—is considered a high-risk exposure. 

If you are tested for COVID-19:
Updated on 08/26/2021 at 8:28 am

If you tested positive for COVID-19:
Updated on 05/08/2020 at 12:57 pm
  • Please notify your supervisor or HR representative.
  • Call the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) at 319-356-3631.
  • Stay home and isolate from others in your household
  • Stay in isolation for 10 days after you first developed symptoms or 10 days after a positive test if you were asymptomatic. For example, if your test was performed after three days of symptoms, you would count the days preceding the test as part of your isolation period, and you would need to isolate for another seven days.
  • You can only return to work after your 10-day isolation period if you are fever free (without fever-reducing medications), and your symptoms are improving.

Please contact UEHC (319-356-3631) before returning to work, so that they can review your symptoms and determine if it is safe to do so.

If you tested negative for COVID-19:
Updated on 08/26/2021 at 8:27 am
  • Please notify your supervisor or HR representative and University Employee Health at 319-356-3631.
  • If you were tested because you have symptoms that might have been COVID-19 and your test was negative, you may return to work once you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine AND you have no other new respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath).
  • If you have been in quarantine because of a high-risk exposure to someone with COVID-19, you may be tested following these guidelines.
Will I find out if any of my coworkers have tested positive for COVID-19?
Updated on 06/24/2020 at 5:30 pm

To protect the privacy of our employees, we will not directly inform fellow employees when a member of their team has tested positive for COVID-19. In these cases, employees are also patients, so in order to follow HIPAA regulations, managers should not share test results of one of their employees with other coworkers.

The Program of Hospital Epidemiology will work with employees who test positive to if any patients, employees, or other UIHC community members were exposed to the employee while he/she was infectious.  If you had a significant exposure to a fellow colleague, a member of the UIHC contact tracing team will contact you to discuss details of the exposure and what to do about it.

Managers should follow their usual practices for informing other employees when a coworker is out: Some variation of, “They are home today,” is all that needs to be said, whether they are home from COVID-19, a migraine, or the flu.

COVID-19 is now out widely in the community, so you should treat every person you encounter—coworkers, patients, and neighbors alike—as if they may have COVID-19 because in fact, they may. The virus is believed to be contagious even before symptoms occur. That’s why it’s so important to always follow all preventive measures, including wearing a shield, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands.

If you as an employee are concerned that you may have had an exposure to someone with COVID-19, please call the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631. Information about what constitutes a high-risk exposure is available on The Loop.

If you are an employee and you are ill with influenza like symptoms, you should stay home, contact your supervisor, and then call the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631. Please do not arrive in person unless you’ve been told to do so for follow-up. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should inform your supervisor of your need to remain out of the workplace until you have recovered.

COVID-19: Employee leave

What expanded leave benefits is UI Health Care making available to its employees?
Updated on 08/13/2021 at 11:00 am

In March 2020, the Board of Regents granted an additional 80 hours (prorated for part-time) of sick leave to use for one’s own illness, illness of an immediate family member, or childcare as further indicated below.

Current staff will receive the amount of COVID-19 leave based on their percent of appointment on March 18, 2020. Staff who begin employment after March 18, 2020, will receive the amount of COVID-19 leave based on their percent of appointment at time of hire.

Can an employee use the expanded leave if their child’s school or place of care has moved to full or partial virtual or on-line instruction?
Updated on 08/13/2021 at 11:00 am

Yes. If the physical location where your child receives instruction or care is not allowing students on-site for instruction, then the school or place of care is considered “closed” and an employee can use the expanded COVID-19 leave on the days where on-site learning is not provided.

Employees may use up to 80 hours of Board of Regents COVID-19 leave for this purpose. The expanded leave would not be available if an employee chooses to keep their child at home even though the school or place of care is open.

Employees are expected to provide an explanation for the reason for leave, the name of the school, and a statement that no other suitable person is available to care for the child.

Can an employee donate their accrued vacation time to another employee who may not have enough sick time to cover their COVID-19 related leave?
Updated on 08/13/2021 at 11:00 am

In 2020, the Board of Regents temporarily modified the existing Catastrophic Leave policy to allow donations to be used for COVID-19 related absences for an employee, an employee’s family member, or to care for a minor dependent under the age of 18 when school or childcare provider has closed due to COVID-19. The temporary modification was discontinued effective July 1, 2021, and pre-pandemic criteria for use of catastrophic leave will be reinstated.

What is the definition of "immediate family member" for the purpose of using the additional leave?

For the purpose of this expanded leave, an employee may use the available sick time to care for a person who regularly resides in the employee’s home, or a similar person with whom the employee has a relationship with that creates an expectation that the employee would care for the person if he or she were quarantined or self-quarantined.

May an employee use the expanded leave to care for the employee's grandchild?

No, unless the employee is the legal guardian or has an “in loco parentis” relationship with the child, meaning that they have day-to-day responsibility to care for or financially support the child.

If I become infected with COVID-19 am I entitled to protected leave under FMLA?

It depends, but typically no. The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for eligible employees with a serious health condition. A “serious health condition” is defined as an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves “inpatient care . . . or continuing treatment by a health care provider.” Many individuals who contract COVID-19 suffer mild symptoms and will therefore not likely be covered by the FMLA, as this would not rise to the level of a “serious health condition.” However, individualized assessment of the circumstances surrounding each case will be performed.

May I use FMLA to care for a family member that contracts COVID-19?

Similar to situations with employees who contract COVID-19 themselves, and as discussed above, whether an employee can use FMLA to care for a parent, child or spouse if that person has a serious health condition will depend in part on the severity of the person’s illness and their treatment plan.

Does Worker's Comp apply to COVID-19?

If an employee believes that in the course of their work they have been exposed to COVID-19, the employee should complete a First Report of Injury for the exposure. If they are unable to file themselves, their supervisor or designee can file on their behalf. The First Report of Injury is located on the UI Self Service portal under Benefits & Wellness, Worker’s Compensation, First Report of Injury. The departmental HR representative will also be able to assist.

Employee scenarios

These are typical examples of when an employee might need to use the additional COVID-19 leave options when an employee cannot work.

You have symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking medical treatment, were diagnosed with COVID-19, or are medically quarantined.
Updated on 08/13/2021 at 12:00 am
  • You may utilize up to 80 hours of Board of Regents emergency paid sick leave at your regular rate of pay. A part-time employee is eligible for this leave prorated based on their appointment percentage. You will be able to request this leave via ELMS.
  • You can use your accrued sick, vacation or compensatory time, if applicable. You can request leave via the current departmental process.
You are caring for an immediate family member who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical treatment, diagnosed with COVID-19 or medically quarantined.
Updated on 08/13/2021 at 12:00 pm
  • You may utilize up to 80 hours of Board of Regents emergency paid sick leave at your regular rate of pay.  A part-time employee is eligible for this leave prorated based on their appointment percentage. You will be able to request this leave via ELMS.
  • You can use your accrued caregiving leave, vacation or compensatory time, if applicable. You can request leave via the current departmental process.
You are caring for a child due to school or place of care closure or child care provider being unavailable.
Updated on 08/13/2021 at 12:00 pm
  • You may utilize up to 80 hours of Board of Regents emergency paid sick leave at your regular rate of pay.  A part-time employee is eligible for this leave prorated based on their appointment percentage. You will be able to request this leave after discussing your needs with your manager.
  • You can use your accrued vacation or compensatory time, if applicable. You can request leave via the current departmental process.

Need help finding child care? Contact the UI’s Child Care Assist program at childcare-assist@uiowa.edu.

Your child's child care center is still open and operational, but you wish to stay home with your child.

You will not be able to use the additional leave if your child’s regular place of care is still operational. The leave will only be available in situations where the employee must actually care for the child and no other suitable person (e.g., co-parents, co-guardians, or the usual childcare provider) is available to care for the child during the period.

Need help finding child care? Contact the UI’s Child Care Assist program at childcare-assist@uiowa.edu.

Travel & events

Advisory on travel through Nov. 1
Updated on 08/27/2021 at 3:00 pm

UI Health Care employees involved with patient care or those directly supporting clinical operations are strongly discouraged from engaging in non-essential travel through Monday, Nov. 1. 

This is not a requirement to undo travel arrangements that have already been made. Rather, it is a request for departments and units to consider carefully whether travel plans could be cancelled, the length of a trip shortened, or the number of travelers decreased.  

This does not represent a change of policy or practice in how travel requests are made or approved and is advisory only. However, in the interests of minimizing risks to the health of our vital care teams, departments and units are encouraged to guide their faculty and staff in limiting travel where feasible. 

Guidance on events, gatherings, services, and public spaces
Updated on 08/16/2021 at 11:00 am

Consider using virtual meeting options like Zoom when meeting in person is not necessary. If you do meet in person, masks are required in clinical and non-clinical rooms in patient care facilities, and masks are encouraged in all other UI Health Care locations. Food should not be consumed during meetings. 

 

 

What should I say if an in-person event is canceled, postponed, or moved to a virtual format?
Updated on 08/16/2021 at 11:00 am

Sample template to use for meeting/event cancelations

In order to proactively protect the health and safety of our patients, faculty, staff, learners, and volunteers, University of Iowa Health Care is limiting face-to-face meetings and events until further notice.

We have decided to [cancel, postpone, move this event to a virtual format] [name of event/gathering] on [date or through at least date]. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but the safety of our community is our top priority at this time.

[If applicable, share details on virtual alternative.]

Thank you for your understanding.

Proof of a negative laboratory test within 72 hours of scheduled departure to Canada
Updated on 01/08/2021 at 8:00 am

Effective on January 7, 2021, proof of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be taken within 72 hours of scheduled departure to Canada.

The negative laboratory test result must include the following data elements:

  • Traveler name and date of birth
  • Name and civic address of the laboratory/clinic/facility that administered the test
  • The date on which the test was conducted
  • The method of test conducted (PCR or LAMP)
  • The test result

For recruitment: The recruiting/hosting department or the recruit is responsible for any cost for travel-related testing done within UI Health Care.

Mental health resources

UI Employee Assistance Program

The UI Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers confidential counseling, information, and referral by licensed mental health professionals. The program serves faculty, staff, and their families. To schedule an appointment, please call 319-335-2085 or email eaphelp@uiowa.edu. More information is available on their website.

COPE Team

The COPE Team can provide emotional support to staff who have had a work-related experience that might challenge their capacity to cope. The team consists of chaplains, social workers, psychiatric nurses, physicians, nurse ethicists, and representatives from the Employee Assistance Program. You can contact COPE at UIHC-COPE@healthcare.uiowa.edu or page 7080, or visit the COPE Team SharePoint site.

Child care resources

Bright Horizons offers full-time elementary program
Updated on 08/31/2020 at 10:00 am

Bright Horizons, who has operated our University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Child Care Center for more than 25 years, is offering a limited full-time elementary school age program for UI Health Care faculty, staff and trainees whose children are participating exclusively in virtual learning. The program is available on a month-to-month basis for school-aged children up to the age of 12 and will include supervision while students participate in their school’s online learning program.

Group size for this program will be limited to 10 students and up to two classrooms will be offered if demand exists. Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents will be required to commit to a minimum of one month of enrollment, and must comply with all current health protocols.

This program will provide students an opportunity to be with peers in a safe and healthy environment. Staff will support the students as they manage their work and build study habits, but will not be a substitute for elementary education teachers or subject matter experts.

All students will be required to wear masks and families must comply with all current health protocols.

Students will be required to bring their own devices and parents must sign a technology waiver.

More information about the program, including costs and enrollment, can be accessed by calling the UIHC Child Care Center at 319-335-9666 or visiting their website: https://child-care-preschool.brighthorizons.com/ia/iowacity/uihc/our-center

UI Hospitals & Clinics and Bright Horizons make back-up child care available to eligible staff
Updated on 10/23/2020 at 10:55 am

We understand many working families are facing difficult child care decisions during these challenging times, especially with the start of a new school year. We recognize this impacts many of our staff and may create additional stress.

In addition to resources available through UI Family Services, UI Hospitals & Clinics has partnered with Bright Horizons, who has operated our UI Hospitals & Clinics Child Care Center for more than 25 years. Starting Sept. 15, Bright Horizons will provide a limited back-up child care service for eligible employees with children through age 12. Through this offering, eligible staff may register for in-center or in-home child care during their scheduled work shift when their traditional arrangements are not available.

The back-up child care program will be implemented in phases, with the initial phase encompassing those UI Hospitals & Clinics staff providing direct patient care and support with a regular appointment of 50% time or greater. Registration for these services will open on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Eligible employees will have access to 10 uses of back-up care per year. A modest co-pay will apply to use these services.

Eligible employees may be pre-determined according to job code and ages of children on their UI insurance policy. More information on eligibility and how to submit an application for review of eligibility can be found here. Enrollment and more information on the Bright Horizons program can be found here.

A list of frequently asked questions is linked here. If you have further questions, please see your manager or human resources representative.

A video with more details can be found here.

Just-in-time child care resources

University Human resources has established a website to help employees find emergency child care.

Do you have friends or neighbors who would like to help with child care?

The United Way’s Emergency Volunteer Center connects volunteers with urgent needs, including providing child-care services for parents in critical health-care roles. Search opportunities and register at the United Way’s COVID-19 volunteer website or call 319-337-VOLS(8685) to learn more.

 

Employee screening and hospital access

Latest information about entrances

Preventing the spread

Limiting food sharing

Please limit food sharing. There are potential health risks with communal food sharing, and it is strongly discouraged at this time. Staff may bring in food to share only if it is individually pre-packaged. Food should not be consumed in areas other than designated break rooms.

Guidance on laundering of scrubs at home

Per our Program of Hospital Epidemiology’s guidance, hospital-issued scrubs (greens) are not required to safely care for any of our inpatients or outpatients, including COVID-19 confirmed cases or patients under investigation (PUI). You should continue to wear what you normally wear at work.

If you have concerns about wearing your own scrubs home after your shift, we advise that you bring a change of clothes in a plastic bag. Before leaving work, change, place your clothes/scrubs in the plastic bag to bring home, and place them directly in your laundry.

Guidance on laundering of scrubs at home

  • Consider bringing a change of clothes to wear at end of shift and a washable or disposable bag to place scrubs into after changing
  • When laundering, consider washing scrubs separately from other clothes
  • Handle laundry with minimal agitation
  • Clean your hands after loading the washer
  • Use the warmest water setting on your washer
  • Use the required amount of detergent for your washer
  • Ensure items are dried completely afterwards using a dryer on the highest heat setting that clothes will tolerate
A how-to guide for cleaning items and surfaces at home

Washing your hands often, covering your coughs and sneezes, and social distancing are all key ways to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses like influenza. But it’s also important to keep other “high touch” items clean.

Here are some steps you can take at home:

Cell phones

Our phones are used constantly throughout the day, meaning that keeping them clean is especially important. Make sure to carefully follow the guidelines of your cell phone manufacturer to avoid damage.

Two major cell phone manufacturers provided the following guidance about cleaning devices:

  • Apple products: “Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.”
  • Samsung products: “You can also use a disinfectant, such as a hypochlorous acid-based solution (containing 50-80ppm) or an alcohol-based solution (containing more than 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol). Do not apply these liquid solutions directly to your phone; they should be carefully applied to a microfiber cloth instead.”

Badges

Badges can be cleaned gently by using soap and water.

Keys

Some keys may be gently cleaned by using disinfectant wipes, or washed with soap and water. Note: You should use caution and be sure that liquids will not damage key fobs.

Scrubs

When laundering scrubs at home, follow these general guidelines:

  • Consider bringing a change of clothes to wear at the end of your shift and a washable or disposable bag to place scrubs into after changing
  • When laundering, consider washing scrubs separately from other clothes
  • Handle laundry with minimal agitation, clean your hands after loading the washer
  • Use the warmest water setting on your washer
  • Use the required amount of detergent for your washer
  • Ensure items are dried completely afterwards using a dryer on the highest heat setting that clothes will tolerate

Blind Spots Reporting System

Blind Spots Reporting System

The Blind Spots Reporting System allows faculty and staff to voice their concerns, issues, or day-to-day irritants.

After the report is filed, a CMO team member will manage the tickets: assigning them to someone on senior leadership, tracking them, and ensuring the end user receives updates or any conclusions from the system’s email in a timely manner.

Feedback

Pay it Forward: Recognize a colleague

We know there are many dedicated faculty and staff working at our main campus, community and outreach clinics, at home, and other locations that we don’t see, but you do. We want to collect and tell their stories, but we need your help. Please pay it forward and recognize a peer that you work with so that we may share their story:  uihc.org/pay-it-forward.

Do you have an idea? Here is how to share it with leadership

To make it easier to share your ideas with the right people, we are creating one easy pathway for you to use. We will be using the Blind Spots reporting system to collect and aggregate similar suggestions. This will allow us to harness your ingenuity, get your ideas to the right people to investigate, and put them into action.

You can simply submit your suggestions by using your HealthCareID. Remember: Blind Spots is not for patient information, as the system is not HIPAA compliant.


How to submit

To submit a report, click on the Incident Reporting link found on:

 

Return to the workplace

(Added April 7, 2021)

Will UI Health Care consider remote work arrangements in the future?

Short-term remote work arrangements were offered as part of the enterprise’s COVID-19 response. We are requiring all employees granted temporary work-from-home status during the pandemic to return to their pre-pandemic work locations by July 6. While employees are asked to return to work by July 6, this change does not signal the end of the conversation regarding remote work for some UI Health Care employees. We will continue to evaluate the benefits and effectiveness of such arrangements as we move forward. Further details will follow after employees return to the workplace.

Why do I have to return to the workplace when I’ve been productive working from home?

While we understand that many employees have been able to work productively from home, we have decided that a return to our pre-pandemic state as the starting point for evaluating future work-from-home arrangements affords the most fair and equitable approach. 

What if I had a remote working agreement before the pandemic?

Remote working arrangements that were in place before the pandemic are not impacted at this time.  

We will be refining the process for any future remote work requests and agreements. Further details will follow after employees return to the workplace in July.  

Can I apply for a new flexible work arrangement to continue to work remotely?

No, at this time, we are requiring all employees granted temporary work-from-home status during the pandemic to return to their pre-pandemic work locationsWe will refine the process for any future remote work requests and agreements. Further details will follow after employees return to the workplace. 

Can I return to my workplace before July 6, 2021?

Yes, we are now able to safely welcome back all of our temporary work-from-home team membersPlease talk with you supervisor to decide on a mutually agreeable date. 

Can I find out if there are colleagues in my work area who chose not to get vaccinated?

No. COVID-19 vaccination is highly encouraged but not mandated for UI Health Care employees. Individuals may choose whether to get the vaccine and whether to share that information with others. Our safety measures will reflect measures for everyone to follow, regardless of vaccination status.  

What should I do if I canceled my parking?

Employees are encouraged to review their parking and transportation needs now in anticipation of their return to the workplace. For example, if you cancelled your parking permit while you worked remotely, you’ll need to resubmit your request for a parking permit 

What if my transportation needs have changed?

Information about parking, bus, and rideshare options, such as employee van pools, can be found here: transportation.uiowa.edu/employee 

My office space was converted for other activities or health care needs while I have been working remotely. Where should I report?

Please talk with your supervisor about your work location and configuration, which may be different than it was pre-pandemic as we work to optimize and configure available spaces. 

Will more building entrances be open?

We will provide an updated entrance map for the main campus and office locations closer to the July return date. 

Will building entrance screening still be in place?

We will continue to adhere to the state’s requirements for employees entering a health care facility and will make appropriate modifications to remain compliantAdditional information will be shared as we approach the July 6 return to the workplace. 

You can always find our current safety standards and guidelines on The Loop

What if I’m not vaccinated before returning to the office?

We are confident that our work environment is safe for employees, regardless of individual vaccination status. UI Health Care remains committed to vaccinating all its employees against COVID-19, and based on current vaccine dose projections, we anticipate being able to offer vaccinations to all employees who want it in advance of July’s return to the workplace. 

If you can be vaccinated elsewhere, such as a local pharmacy, before UI Health Care contacts you for a vaccine appointment, we encourage you to do so in order to be vaccinated as early as possible. 

You can always find our current safety standards and guidelines on The Loop

Is it safe to return to my workspace?

Yes, we are confident that our work environment is safe for employees. 

We will continue to work with our epidemiology team to evaluate workspaces as we welcome all our employees back to the workplaceIf you have a concern about your workspace, you may submit a request for a workspace review here: https://medcom.uiowa.edu/theloop/social-distancing-work-space-request 

What safety measures will be in place for the return to the workplace (PPE, social distancing, etc)?

We are confident that our work environment is safe for employees. We regularly monitor the CDC guidance to support safety practices, and work with our epidemiology team’s recommendations for maintaining safety measures designed to keep everyone healthy in the workplace. We will follow CDC guidance regarding these practices and make appropriate modifications to align with changing guidelines, but we anticipate that many of these recommendations will become more relaxed in the coming months. Additional information will be shared as we approach the July 6 return to the workplace.

May I continue to wear a mask even if PPE rules change?

Yes, individuals may choose to wear a mask even if safety guidelines no longer require them in the future. 

 

What will be the expectations for meetings? Will in-person meetings be allowed? Hybrid? Only virtual?

Expectations for meetings may vary over time, depending on current CDC guidelines to support safe business practices and our epidemiology team’s recommendations for maintaining safety measures designed to keep everyone healthy in the workplace at the time. 

You can always find our current safety standards and guidelines on The Loop 

What are the expectations if I am not vaccinated?

We are confident that our work environment is safe for employees, regardless of individual vaccination status. Therefore, the expectations for returning to the workplace are the same for all employees regardless of vaccination status. 

What if I took equipment home to facilitate working remotely? When/how should I return this equipment to work?

University-purchased technology that was taken home to support work from home during the pandemic is expected to be returned to the enterprise. Staff should transport this equipment back to their assigned workspace prior to their return to an onsite work schedule. Staff who have technical configurations that include different peripherals should submit an ESC ticket for HCIS technician support to help with system setup and to allow HCIS to update their technology inventory regarding the location of the equipment. 

Telework

Telecommuting best practices and expectations
Updated on 04/07/2021 at 10:00 am

Remote working arrangements in place before the pandemic are not impacted at this time. We will be refining the remote work agreement process, and further details will follow after July.

For those with remote working arrangements in place before the pandemic, please review the following work expectations related to your telework arrangement:

  • You are to perform your duties at the expected performance standard and have regularly-scheduled and approved work hours.
  • You are responsible for maintaining availability, and levels of production and quality of work at the expected standard while telecommuting.
  • You agree to be accessible to your supervisor, co-workers, or others during the work hours agreed upon and as appropriate to your job responsibilities.
  • You agree to safely maintain the telecommuting workplace site.
  • You agree to comply with all UI Health Care policies and procedures, including adequately safeguarding and securing any restricted or confidential information (including PHI) with which you work.
  • Your email should not say “out of office” which implies you are not available for work.
Process to request permission to work from home
Updated on 04/07/2021 at 10:00 am

Remote working arrangements in place before the pandemic are not impacted at this time. We will be refining the remote work agreement process, and further details will follow after July.

Guide to working remotely
Updated on 04/13/2020 at 8:00 am

How do I access The Point and other systems from home?

Health Care Information Systems has a variety of remote access solutions available to UI Health Care faculty and staff. The appropriate solution for you depends on what systems you need access to. This document is meant to help you identify the right solution for your needs and provide guidance how to request access to that solution.

Remote access solutions don’t generally support remote telephony. If you need remote telephone services, the individual will be responsible for updating their voice mail with an appropriate contact number such as a home or cell phone or be diligent about checking voice mail for messages.

The solutions offered for remote access are in order of preference and ease of deployment.


Citrix Remote Access

All UI Health Care faculty and staff already have access to a core set of systems via Citrix Remote Access. At a minimum, the following systems are available to you:

Adobe Acrobat 2017 Calculator Mail Control panel Google Chrome Internet Explorer
Network Drives (H:, S:, etc.) Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft Word Microsoft Outlook Safety Incident Reporting Electronic Death Certification ELMS Remote
ELMS Remote Scheduling ICON Micromedex – New My Compliance Tableau – New
TempTrak The Point UIHC SmartWeb UpToDate Voalte Messenger

You may have other systems available to you based on your role. For example, faculty and staff with access to Epic in the hospital automatically have access to Epic via Citrix Remote Access.

Citrix Remote Access is the preferred method for accessing UI Health Care systems. It provides a secure connection to our systems and does not require any special hardware on your end. However, not all systems can be accessed by Citrix Remote Access. The easiest thing to do is to review what applications are available to you and determine if this meets your needs.

How do I use Citrix Remote Access?

If you have a HealthCareID, you already have access. Citrix Remote Access can be accessed by any computer with an Internet connection and a web browser by visiting https://desktop.healthcare.uiowa.edu.

See our handout on Citrix Remote Access for more information.

What are the limitations of Citrix Remote Access?

Citrix Remote Access is easily deployed and HCIS is well positioned to support your use of it. However, if you require access to systems and applications not currently available through Citrix Remote Access, an alternative solution may be more appropriate.


Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) via Citrix

If you have tools on your UI Health Care workstation that are not available through Citrix Remote Access, you may be a candidate for RDP via Citrix. This solution allows you to connect to your workstation on your desk from any computer with an Internet connection. It relies on the same technology as Citrix Remote Access but requires you know your workstation ID (aka M number). However, you must be specially granted access to this solution.

How do I use RDP via Citrix?

Accessing RDP via Citrix is the same as Citrix Remote Access as it relies on the same infrastructure. You will need to make sure your workstation in UIHC is powered on and logged in.

See our handout on Use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) via Citrix for more information.

What are the limitations of RDP via Citrix?

As noted above, you are actually connecting to your UI Health Care workstation on your desk from another computer. This assumes you have a dedicated workstation and are not using a shared workstation. This could require you to come on site to your desk in the event of the PC powering off or if the system hangs. In the event this occurs, any specialized systems you access through RDP via Citrix would not be available until you come back to your desk. Applications available through Citrix Remote Access will continue to be available.

Given the architecture of this solution, not all applications will perform like they do when running locally due to bandwidth limitations between the hospital and your home computer. Items such as video and image quality may be degraded and not appropriate for clinical decision making.

How do I request access to RDP via Citrix

Requests for RDP via Citrix will be reviewed and validated for appropriateness.

See our handout on Request RDP Access via Citrix for more information.

It will be mandatory that you provide a justifiable reason for requesting RDP via Citrix to services that are unable to be provided via Citrix.


Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If you have a workstation managed by UI Health Care that you can take home and Citrix Remote Access and RDP Via Citrix do not meet your work requirements, you can be provided Virtual Private Network (VPN) software for your workstation. The VPN software makes your computer function as though it is on the UI Health Care network. This allows you to continue to connect to network drives and other applications you may need access to.

How do I use VPN

Please see our handout on Use VPN for Remote Access for more information.

What are the limitations of a VPN?

The VPN client can only be installed on a Windows or Mac computer managed by HCIS. For the protection of the institution, University security policy does not allow the software to be installed on personal equipment. Additionally, access via the VPN is not protected by multi-factor authentication (e.g. Duo) which provides additional security to other remote access methods. Lastly, specialized systems may require the creation of specialized VPN profiles by HCIS. Creation and testing of these profiles may be time consuming and may result in delayed access to these services.

How do I request a VPN?

Requests for VPNs will be reviewed and validated for appropriateness. Please contact the HCIS Help Desk at 319-356-0001 or email a request to helpdesk-hcis@uiowa.edu with “VPN Request” in the subject line.

It will be mandatory that you provide a justifiable reason for requesting VPN access to services that are unable to be provided via Citrix or RDP via Citrix.


Installing Skype for Business

Skype for Business is a communication tool that allows our interactions to be more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere.

See our handout on Installing Skype for Business to learn how to install and configure Microsoft Skype for Business on your home PC.

How to use Skype Enterprise Voice to call patients and colleagues on your computer or cell phone

Skype Enterprise Voice enables healthcare employees to perform the following types of outbound calling from their computer/laptop:

·         Local (to the greater Iowa City area)

·         Long distance (with a valid long-distance access code)

·         5-digits to another UI extension

·         Skype peer-to-peer call

The recipient of the call will see the generic hospital number of (319) 338-2111. This is the number many patients have come to recognize as an incoming call from UI Health Care.

Users will not be able to receive external inbound calls on the enterprise voice solution.

Skype Enterprise Voice mobile is also available for outbound calling. View directions below on how to download and use the latest app on your phone. 

View directions for use on computer (pages 1-3) and/or phone

Reset your password without calling the Help Desk

Password troubles? You can reset it yourself without calling the Help Desk. Just visit healthcareid.uiowa.edu, anytime, anywhere.

Top 10 data security considerations when working remotely
    1. The following points are to help you make sure confidential data is protected when you are working from a remote location, such as home. Remember that you have a responsibility to protect the confidentiality of all data that you use and have access to. For patient data, HIPAA guidelines apply to data being access from UIHC or remotely. In the current crisis, it is critically important that confidentiality and security of data be maintained.
    2. If you are using a personal computer at home, make sure you have security software such as AntiVirus installed, maintain current updates, software updates/patches, locked screen, and do not share the computer with other family members. If you are using work-provided computer at home—work computers are intended for business and may not be shared with others, including family members. Be sure to notify the Help Desk if you suspect updates to your work computer are not getting applied, or if you have any other cybersecurity concerns.
    3. Do not use unsecured, public wifi (such as in restaurants, coffee shops, etc.) unless you are using a secure VPN or Citrix session. When using home wifi, make sure your home wifi is secured with a strong password (greater than 10 characters, mixed upper and lower case, numeric and symbols) and strong encryption. For the encryption type, use WPA2. There are different types of WPA2, all are fine. Make sure you keep your home wi-fi software up to date, even if you are simply using your home computer to check your UIHC email.
  1. Be very careful when clicking links—even more careful than when working onsite at UIHC or UIowa. Be aware of URLs and website addresses when accessing sites on the internet. Do not visit sites you wouldn’t browse during the normal course of your work.  We have specific protection mechanisms in place within the UIHC environment to protect against “known bad” sites—those protections don’t extend to your home network.  Use more caution when working from home or when connecting to UIHC network with a personal computer.
  2. Do NOT save sensitive data on your personal device. While it may make it easier to access, it is vulnerable to loss, corruption, cyber-attacks and viruses. Make patient and sensitive data is only being stored only on approved storage locations.
  3. When you are not using your computer, disconnect it from the network and/or shut it down. This prevents attacks and data loss, as well as unauthorized access by people who may share your space when working from home.
  4. Do not use random thumb drives. Loading thumb drives with viruses or other malware is a common problem. If you have a thumb drive but don’t know where it came from, DO NOT use it.
  5. Protect remote devices against theft. Don’t leave a laptop or cell phone in your car, even if the car is locked the devices should not be accessible.  Keep laptops secured at all times.
  6. Use the PUSH feature when using DUO 2-factor for authentication. Using the telephone call feature costs UIHC “telephony credits” which UIHC pays for in a metered fashion. The PUSH costs UIHC nothing additional.
  7. Review messages being sent in email to ensure that you are sending to the correct recipient.  Working on a laptop, keyboards might not respond the same way as your desktop keyboard…double-check before sending.

Additional information can be found at: https://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/community-policies/acceptable-use-information-technology-resources

For questions, please contact the Information Security and Policy Office at UI Information Security Office (it-security@uiowa.edu).

 

Remote working documentation available from the ESC Self Service Portal
Updated on 04/22/2020 at 8:43 am

Technical documentation to support remote/off-site working is now available from the HCIS Help Desk, ESC Self Service Portal. This web site is available from any location, on or off the UI Health Care network, and will prompt for your HealthCare credentials to access the information. The documents provided are to assist in connecting to Citrix, Skype, and Outlook to support daily work as well as assistance in supporting mobile devices and other applications. The ESC Self Service Portal and documentation can be viewed using the following instructions:

  1. Open an internet browser and go to: https://service.healthcare.uiowa.edu/CherwellPortal
  2. Select “Login” from the upper right corner.
  3. Enter your HealthCareID and password.
  4. Select the “Knowledge” link from the upper menu.
  5. This will provide a list of the Most Popular Knowledge articles and a location to use for keyword searching of all articles. 
  6. Once in the article, you have an option to like the article, add a comment about the particular article or share the article with others via email.

COVID-19 time tracking and Labor Pool resources

COVID-19 time tracking
Updated on 08/13/2020 at 3:03 pm

All UI Health Care employees no longer need to track their time related to COVID-19 using the web-based application.

Tracking time in ELMS

All non-exempt and SEIU staff should continue using codes in ELMS to perform COVID-19 time tracking.

View time tracking codes (HealthCareID required).

COVID-19 Labor Pool resources

View the supervisors page for COVID-19 Labor Pool resources.