WakeMed Inclement Weather Employee Communication Guidelines by brz27029


									         WakeMed Inclement Weather Employee Communication Guidelines
                   Frequently Asked Questions With Answers

1.   What is the WakeMed Inclement Weather Response Plan?
     As WakeMed provides essential healthcare services to the community, it has the
     responsibility to continue operations during severe weather conditions. This plan provides
     guidance for effective planning in response to these inclement weather conditions. The plan
     specifies actions that need to be taken for al phases of the event – preseason, watch,
     warning, storm, recovery and the termination of the plan. It gives guidelines for
     administration, department leadership and personal preparedness.

2.    What are the WakeMed Weather Teams?
      All employees are divided into two teams.
       Active Team (Team A): Employees, who are assigned by their supervisor to be a
          member of this team, have jobs that must continue during all the response phases of
          the inclement weather event. Employees in these positions are required to report to
          work at their assigned time. Transportation services and sleeping accommodations will
          be offered to members of this team if it is anticipated that road conditions will be very
       Reserve Team (Team R): Employees, who are assigned by their supervisor to be a
          member of this team, have jobs that can be delayed until the emergency conditions have
          passed. Employees on this team do not report to or remain at work during the severe
          weather. However, employees on this team are to be in contact with their supervisor and
          must be prepared to become a member of the Active Team, if their supervisor asks them
          to do so.
3.    Will WakeMed call the Inclement Weather Plan when the other hospitals do so?
      More than likely, the answer to this is “yes”. The WakeMed plan allows for multiple phases of
4.    What is the WakeMed Employee Inclement Weather Personal Preparedness
      This checklist is available on the Environmental Health and Safety page of the WakeMed
      intranet to help you get ready for the event. The checklist tells you how to get your home
      and car prepared and what you need to do to prepare for work. If you need help in getting
      the list, please contact your supervisor.
5.    What are the Inclement Weather Safety Tips?
      The safety of you and your family is very important. This checklist is available from your
      supervisor and on the Environmental Health and Safety page of the WakeMed intranet to
      give you information on important safety measures. As many of you also have pets, there
      is also information on pet safety during these events.
6.    Who decides to activate the WakeMed Inclement Weather Plan?
      The Chief Operating Officer or in his absence, the Administrator on call will activate the
      plan. The decision is based on predicted weather information.
7.   When is the WakeMed Inclement Weather Response Plan activated?
     When the weather is predicted to be severe and it appears that it will significantly disrupt
     the normal operations in the hospital.
8.    Who is in charge of the response when the plan is activated?
      The Chief Operating Officer will appoint an individual to serve as the Emergency Incident
9.    What is the Hospital Emergency Operations Center?
      The Hospital Emergency Operations Center will be set up, both at the Raleigh and the
      Cary campus. Key individuals will serve in these centers and will assist the Incident
      Commander with the tasks that cannot be managed through normal means. For example,
      they will organize the sleeping, childcare and transportation arrangements.
10.   What is the WakeMed Employee Alert Line?
      This is the telephone number that you will call to get general information about the
      WakeMed changes in operations that are made in response to the weather. The number
      is 350-5050.
11.   What is the Disaster Department Communication Line?
      This is a telephone number in your department that will have department specific
      instructions for you. Please talk to your supervisor to get this number and call the number
      on a regular basis throughout the storm.
12.   How do I know if I am supposed to come to work during periods of inclement
      You need to first determine the status of the WakeMed weather plan by calling the number
      given to you by your manager; it will provide department specific information for you. If you
      are considered essential personnel and have been assigned to the Active Team (Team A)
      and you are scheduled to work, you are expected to be there so that patient care is not
      interrupted. Unless your supervisor has scheduled another staff person to work in your
      place, you are expected to arrive by the start of your shift.
      There may be events that result in the loss of telephone service. If you are unable to
      communicate with WakeMed, you need to report to work as scheduled.
13.   How do I know if I am considered essential personnel (Team A)?
      Your supervisor will inform you of your status; if you do not know your status, please discuss
      this with your supervisor. It is important to recognize that it is not just the clinical and support
      staff that is essential. Many administrative staff is also considered essential personnel. Do
      not assume you are not essential. Active Team (Team A) employees are those considered
      essential; Reserve Team (Team R) generally are not expected to work during periods when
      the Inclement Weather Plan is activated, however if given appropriate notice and asked to
      work by their supervisor, these employee need to be prepared to do so.
14.   What are my options if I cannot drive or do not have transportation during
      inclement weather or if I try to get to work and then can’t make it due to weather
      conditions or having an accident?
      Usually WakeMed is aware of predicted severe weather conditions far enough in advance
      to plan. Employees are generally offered accommodations at or nearby by the facility
      where they work and are provided transportation to and from the accommodations.
      Employees are strongly encouraged to accept the accommodations offer and not try to
      travel if they are not certain they have transportation that is completely reliable all the time.
      Accommodations may not be an option at all facilities; at those facilities your supervisor will
      discuss expectations of attendance and travel in advance of actual weather conditions.
      If you are not at a facility where accommodations can be provided or you choose to not
      accept accommodations, you may develop transportation options within your department.
      Many departments rely on a few of the staff members who have 4x4 vehicles to transport
      staff. This works particularly well at the smaller facilities where accommodations are not
      readily available. We would prefer that staff accept accommodations rather than risk injury
      or absence due to weather conditions.
15.   If I have transportation, but the news reports that travelers will be fined if they are on
      the roads, what should I do?
      You need to come to work. Hospital employees and their drivers are exempt from those fines
      because it is understood that staffing is essential for patient care. If pulled by an officer, just
      show your WakeMed identification badge and explain that you work at WakeMed and you are
      on your way to or from work.
16.   Will WakeMed pick me up and take me home?
      Generally no. It will be the general practice to house employees close to or inside
      The facility where they work. Only in extreme weather situations that exceed normal
      durations of 2 –3 days will the hospitals implement home pick-ups.
17.   If I can find someone to work for me, do I still have to come to work?
      You need to check with your supervisor. It may be that the alternate person is needed to
      work elsewhere in the department or facility and you may still be needed.
18.   What happens if I am sick the day I am supposed to work and cannot work?
      These situations will be handled on a case by case basis, taking multiple factors into
      consideration such as your performance and attendance history, your attendance during prior
      inclement weather periods, your flexibility and willingness to work additional shifts when
      requested in the past, the extent of your illness, whether the illness is related to a Family
      Medical Leave Act covered condition, etc.
19.   Will I be provided additional compensation for working during inclement weather
      You will not. Fortunately, the Triangle area does not experience a great number of weather
      conditions that make traveling difficult. Because of this, we believe if we all pull together and
      everyone assumes their share of the responsibilities, we can provide care for the WakeMed
      patients without putting significant undue hardship on anyone.
20.   Will I receive PDO payment if I am expected to work and do not?
      If you have been offered accommodations or transportation and refused it, then you will not
      be paid PDO for the shift; you are also subject to disciplinary action. While this may seem
      harsh, it is essential that we have staff available to provide safe, quality patient care.
21.   If I come to work early, can I clock-in and begin working?
      You will need to get permission from your supervisor, but in many cases, work will be
      available for you prior to the start of your shift either in your department or somewhere else in
      the organization.
22.   How will I know when to start planning for inclement weather and what should I do?
      You should determine a plan in advance of weather conditions occurring so that you are
      prepared when the time arrives. Whenever the news predicts inclement weather, you should
      begin putting your plan into action. At WakeMed, your department will receive department
      notifications from Public Relations that will be shared with staff. You need to review the
      WakeMed Inclement Weather Plan that is specific to the event, your Department’s Weather
      Plan and also refer to the Personal Preparedness Checklist. This preparation will help you be
      ready when weather conditions decline.
23.   If my department closes, can I work at another facility?
      Notify your supervisor and s/he will notify the staffing offices and Hospital Emergency
      Operations Center. You will be notified if you are needed to work elsewhere.
24.   If I am late getting to work, will it count against me?
      Not if you get there within a reasonable time. It is understood that weather conditions may
      make travel slow. You are encouraged to start early so that you have extra time to travel
      even if someone else, such as Campus Police, is transporting you.
25.   Do I have to stay on the job until my replacement arrives?
      Yes, unless your supervisor approves otherwise.
26.   How do I arrange accommodations and transportation to/from the accommodations?
      You will need to inform your supervisor if you would like accommodations and the associated
      transportation. At the Raleigh and Cary campuses your supervisor will compile a list and will
      email it to the Hospital Emergency Operations Center. Staff there will assign
      accommodations, both inside and outside the facility. At the Raleigh campus, please go to
      the Hospital Emergency Operations Center to get your room assignment. At the Cary
      Hospital, please call your supervisor to get your room assignment. At the other WakeMed
      facilities, your supervisor will arrange accommodations if space is available in the facility.
27.   What happens if I am offered accommodations or transportation and I refuse it?
      If you are scheduled, it is your responsibility to arrive by the start of your shift. Team A
      staff, which do not work, are subject to disciplinary action because it is essential that we
      have staff to care for patients, who must be our priority. You are strongly encouraged to
      accept accommodations to make sure that you are able to work. Weather and road
      conditions may prohibit even the best drivers from traveling.
28.   If offered hotel accommodations, can I have a private room?
      Most likely, you will be expected to share a room. If there are enough rooms available to
      accommodate a request, you may request a private room and pay the additional half for
      each day.
29.   Are provisions made for childcare at WakeMed during periods of inclement
      Kidworks opens the facility in or near the WakeMed Raleigh campus and accepts children
      up to age 17. To register your child for that service, you must call the number provided at
      the time of inclement weather planning prior to bringing your child for care. Generally, the
      number will be: 350-4141. Cary Hospital will determine if there is a need to implement
      childcare and will take actions based on management’s assessment of the requests. The
      location of services will be provided at the time of planning also; and may vary depending
      on weather conditions. Generally, if the event occurs on a weekend, childcare will not be
30.   Can I bring my family to stay at the hotel with me?
      You may choose to bring your family to stay with you at the hotel. You will need to request a
      private room from your supervisor who will then make the request to the HEOC. You will be
      responsible for half of the total charge for the accommodations.
31.   Can I bring my pets to stay at the hotel with me?
      Pets are not allowed at the hotels that WakeMed utilizes for sleeping accommodations.
      Therefore, employees will need to make separate arrangements.
32.   Can I request a smoking room at the hotel?
      Yes, you may request it, but we cannot guarantee that one will be available.
33.   Can I request with whom I share a room?
      You may request your preference in roommates. Your supervisor will provide the request to
      the Hospital Emergency Operations Center. All efforts will be made to accommodate the
      request, however, there may be circumstances where the request cannot be accommodated.
34.    Can my family sleep at the hospital?
      No, unfortunately WakeMed is not prepared to house families. If hotel accommodations are
      offered, you may request a private room and pay the difference for your family.
35.   What should I do if I schedule sleeping accommodations and then do not need them?
      Notify your supervisor; s/he will notify the Hospital Emergency Operations Center.
36.   Who is responsible if the room I stay in is damaged?
      The occupants of the room are responsible for payment of the damage.
37.   If I am on-call and accept accommodations at a hotel, will there be transportation 24
      Yes, shuttles will run consistently between hotels and the facility. Note: At the Cary Hospital,
      the hotels that Cary Hospital utilizes are within walking distance of the hotel. Please call 350-
      2000 in Cary to make reservations for transportation.
38.   Can WakeMed transport my child with me to and from the hotel accommodations?
      No. WakeMed cannot assume the liability and responsibility for transporting children,
      especially during hazardous driving conditions. Your child’s safety is very important to us and
      we would not want to compromise that in any way. Your child may spend the day/night in the
      Kidworks operation located at the hospital.
39.   Can I stay with my child in the childcare operations center?
      No, unfortunately we will not have space to accommodate parents spending the night with
      their children.
40.   If given the option of volunteering to transport employees and I choose to do so, who
      covers the associated costs?
      In situations where WakeMed asks for volunteer drivers, WakeMed will reimburse the
      employee for mileage and also pay the employee’s hourly rate for the time spent transporting
      staff. In the event of an accident, the employee does need to understand that his/her
      insurance is primary and thus pays first for damages.
41.   If I find a room in the hospital that is empty, can I just sleep there?
      No, as patients may be assigned to that room. All sleeping accommodations will be assigned
      by the Hospital Emergency Operations Center to maintain tracking for all employees for
      safety reasons. It is also important to make sure that sleeping spaces in-house are cleaned
      and prepared accordingly.
42.   If I am assigned to stay in the WakeMed facility, where can I shower?
      At the Raleigh campus, the Healthworks facilities will be available or you may use a private
      patient room if you are assigned to one for accommodations. At other campuses, showers
      will be designated for staff.
43.   Will WakeMed cover my food expenses?
      Generally the answer is “no”. If weather conditions continue for an extended period of time,
      that decision will be reevaluated. You are encouraged to bring extra money or nonperishable
      food with you.
44.   What happens if I finish my shift, am released from duty, do not have to work for a few
      more days, but cannot get home?
      You will be offered accommodations at your facility or at another facility that is close to the
      one where you are working.

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