DIRECTOR’S DESK CHRISTINA R. GHALY, MD
The beginning of Spring is a time of renewal and new beginnings. This Spring, we are slowly emerging from the most difficult part of the pandemic so far and accordingly, we are adapting our protocols and procedures. This means that we are modifying our mask mandates for the workplace. The use of masks continues to be strongly recommended, although the mandate has expired. The most recent guidelines on masking for workforce members outside of Health Care Campuses can be found here (this link is available only to staff). Masking is still required in all healthcare settings, healthcare campuses, homeless shelters, correctional facilities and other specified settings. A list of frequently asked questions can be found here (this link is available only to staff). Staff are invited to send their questions on the masking requirements to this link (this link is available only to staff).
It is understandable that there will continue to be questions and concerns about the lifting of the mask mandate. Some staff are likely uncomfortable with removing their masks in the workplace and in public settings after wearing them for such a long time and monitoring the continuous evolution of the highly contagious variants throughout the world. Although these decisions are based on the data, which are showing a steady decline in infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths, it is important that we continue to be respectful of the highly personal decision to mask or unmask in public. Some people have preexisting health conditions that put them at elevated risk for serious illness and death and others may care for vulnerable family members, so we must support our workforce members who choose to remain cautious. Other safety protocols are still recommended, like getting vaccinated and boosted, frequent handwashing, getting tested if you have symptoms or been exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and staying home when ill.
This month’s edition of The Pulse celebrates the accomplishments of the Population Health Department, which was recently honored by LA Care’s Health Equity Awards. There are also exciting updates on our advancements in using technology to improve the efficiency and safety protocols of our staff and patients. Be sure to look at the articles on the implementation of the ASTER resource, Enterprise Patient Queuing System and the expansion of video visit availability for our patients. The Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Antiracism Initiative celebrates women’s history month with an informative roundtable discussion.
Thank you for all you do. We’re all in this together.
Dr. Christina Ghaly
The Award Goes To….DHS! L.A. Care Inaugural Provider Equity Award for RN HOME and Food Rx ProgramsThe Award Goes To….DHS! L.A. Care Inaugural Provider Equity Award for RN HOME and Food Rx Programs https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/LA-Care-Health-Equity-Award-photo.jpg 640 360 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
Recently, LA Health Services (DHS) was honored with L.A. Care’s first Provider Equity Award. This award recognizes DHS’s efforts to improve health outcomes for patients with diabetes and those with uncontrolled high blood pressure (BP), through the Food Rx Program and the Remote Nursing Hypertension Optimization Management & Engagement Program (RN HOME).learn more
ASTERASTER https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/ASTER3.png 750 281 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
The Department of Health Services (DHS) went live with ASTER (Acuity, Scheduling and Time Employee Resource) Phase 1 in August of last year for nursing staff at 6 Intensive Care Units (ICU) at LA General Medical Center.learn more
DHS Enterprise Patient Queuing SystemDHS Enterprise Patient Queuing System https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/queue-1024x798.png 1024 798 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
LA Health Services (DHS) is pleased to announce the Enterprise Patient Queuing System – a newly modernized, digital kiosk now available at your local Outpatient Phlebotomy Labs. The system is currently being implemented at our outpatient pharmacy and there are plans to implement at an Urgent Care near you!learn more
EDIA Commemorates Women’s History MonthEDIA Commemorates Women’s History Month https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/EDIA-Womens-History-Month-Roundtable-1024x576.png 1024 576 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
This month the EDIA Initiative is celebrating Women’s History Month!
We’re amplifying the voices of women across Health Services! On March 23, we spoke with women from across DHS to hear their perspectives on the most pressing issues for workforce, patients and community.
Video Visits EverywhereVideo Visits Everywhere https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Video-Visits-everywhere-stock-photo-1024x683.jpg 1024 683 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
The last phase for the ORCHID Integrated Virtual Healthcare Project went live on March 15, 2022, with video visits increasing from 38 ambulatory clinics to over 230 across Health Services for primary and specialty care appointments. Patients with an LA Health Portal account can join their visit from within their portal or receive an SMS/text or email with a link to join the visit.learn more