Physician Coaching Available from TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine

The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine Physician Development Coaches (PDC) are offering TCMS physicians free coaching services.  Many of you are on the front lines of the DFW warzone – facing resource challenges, complex decision-making, anxiety, fatigue, exhaustion and potential COVID-19 infection.  Coaching can be a valuable, strengthening resource during many life phases, but especially in times of crisis, uncertainty, and complex decision-making. The PDCs are available during this pandemic and offer pro bono coaching services. Coaches who are available for you include: Debra AtkissonTom DeasCandice Gamble, Raj GandhiKen HopperSamir NangiaThuthuy Nguyen and Tony Zepeda. For more information or to schedule a coaching tele-appointment email your request to MDCOVIDCoaches@tcu.edu.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 5/6/20


COVID-19 Positive cases: 2813*

COVID-19 related deaths: 88

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 654

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Wednesday, May 6, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

PPE Distributed to Fort Worth-Area Physicians

By David Doolittle

Originally published on the Texas Medical Association website.

Some North Texas physicians are about to receive desperately needed personal protective equipment (PPE) thanks to a partnership between the Texas Medical Association, the Tarrant County Medical Society, and the North Texas Regional Advisory Council (RAC).

The county medical society received a shipment of PPE from the RAC on Saturday that will be distributed to area physicians based on their practices’ needs, CEO Brian Swift said.

“This has been a team effort – everyone from the TMA, the RACs, and the doctors’ offices – to get these supplies where they need to go,” Mr. Swift said. “In North Texas, it’s been tough sledding for weeks, but it’s finally getting worked out.”

The collaboration, which began last week, is part of an effort to distribute PPE to the state’s community physicians, who have grown increasingly desperate for the protective equipment they need to care safely for patients.

Under the program, physicians indicate their PPE needs through an online portal created by TMA, which will forward that data regularly through eight designated Hospital Preparedness Programs (HPPs) and RACs. The RACS and HPPs will make the supplies available for county medical societies and other organizations to distribute.

That’s what happened Saturday, when Mr. Swift received word that the North Texas RAC in Arlington had PPE available for physicians in Tarrant County, as well as nearby Parker and Johnson counties.

“I rented a U-Haul van, drove to Arlington and pulled up to the RAC,” Mr. Swift said. “There were two National Guard guys there who helped me load the PPE. I drove it back to our headquarters and returned the truck. It took about three hours total.”

The supplies include K95 masks, surgical masks, and face shields, which will be added to several thousand N95 and surgical masks that MedStar Ambulance service donated to the society a few weeks ago, Mr. Swift said.

Society officials have been contacting area physicians with instructions on when and how to pick up the PPE, he said.

“They’re just grateful, the staffs, the nurses, they’re excited to have it,” he said. “It’s great because we get to meet a bunch of new people.”

The portal is not a PPE order form. The amount and type of PPE in state warehouses varies each week. Submitting a form does not guarantee practices will receive supplies. Physicians whose data indicates a need for PPE will be placed on a distribution list to receive supplies as they become available.

To ensure each practice submits only one set of data to the PPE Portal, not all Texas physicians have received personalized login credentials. If you did not receive the credentials via email, check with your practice manager or the lead physician in your practice. Practices with multiple locations are considered a single practice. If it appears that no physician at your practice received the credentials, please contact the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955 or by email.

For more details, see the TMA PPE Distribution Q&A document.

Remember, you can find the latest news, resources, and government guidance on the coronavirus outbreak by visiting TMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center regularly.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 5/4/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 2624*

COVID-19 related deaths: 77

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 651

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Monday, May 4, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 5/2/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 2503*

COVID-19 related deaths: 71

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 583

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Saturday, May 2, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 5/1/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 2388*

COVID-19 related deaths: 69

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 551

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Friday, May 1, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

Texas Medical Board Announces New Emergeny Rules

The Texas Medical Board has announced new emergency rules that went into effect today, May 1st, at 12:00am. Among the provisions was this requirement:

All physicians providing patient care or engaging in an in-person patient encounter in medical and healthcare practices, offices, and facilities, other than hospitals as defined under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health & Safety Code, shall post a COVID-19 Minimum Standards of Safe Practice Notice (COVID-19 Notice), delineating the minimum standards of safe practice described in this subsection, in each public area and treatment room or area of the office, practice, or facility. (bold face added)

Earlier today, TMB posted on its website a copy of the notice that physicians can print and place in their offices as required. It is available here.

N95 Decontamination Process with Battelle CCDS

Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS). Hosted by the City of Fort Worth on behalf of the region.

Battelle CCDS has arrived in Fort Worth with the goal of decontaminating designated N95 masks in the North Texas region. This is provided by a joint governmental partnership and is a free service provided to healthcare facilities and first responders. Read the below information to find out if this service can benefit you and your healthcare team.

Eligibility
Healthcare Personnel: All paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, including body substances (e.g., blood, tissue, and specific body fluids); contaminated medical supplies, devices, and equipment; contaminated environmental surfaces; or contaminated air.
Also included, but not limited to emergency medical service personnel, nurses, nursing assistants, physicians, technicians, therapists, phlebotomists, pharmacists, dentists and dental hygienists, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the healthcare facility, and persons not directly involved in patient care, but who could be exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted in the healthcare setting (e.g., clerical, dietary, environmental services, laundry, security, engineering and facilities management, administrative, billing, and volunteer personnel).
Emergency Response Personnel

Eligible Masks for Decontamination
• Any N95 respirator (healthcare and industrial) that are not cellulose based.
• Respirators must be certified by NIOSH as an N95. If NIOSH hasn’t certified it, Battelle does not recommend decontamination via our process.
• The N95 Guidance document should be referenced for identifying N95 respirators that we are able to decontaminate.

Turn-a-Round Time
• Usually within 72 hours of receipt
• Dependent on volume of incoming respirators

Location
• Provided after registration with Battelle has been confirmed
Paperwork MUST be completed and masks properly marked prior to dropping off or shipping N95 masks to the facility. Please reference the N95 Guidance document for allowable masks. No other items are being accepted for decontamination at this time.

Preparation & Collection Instructions
• For Individuals
• For Facilities
For Questions please contact Fort Worth Fire Assistant Chief Homer Robertson.

Battelle CCDS Registration Process:

  1. Sign up with Battelle
    Complete Enrollment Form
    • Battelle emails enrollee links to the enrollment contract, instructions, and the Battelle POC
  2. Contact Us to Get Your Code
    • Enrollee signs contract and contacts Battelle POC to receive their 3-digit codes for each facility
  3. Properly Label Respirators
    • Once the 3-digit codes are received from Battelle, enrollee collects N95 respirators
    • N95 respirators must be unsoiled (free of blood, mucus, make-up, lip balm, etc.) and labeled with a permanent marker
  4. Collect & Bag All N95 Respirators
    • Enrollee collects all N95 respirators into a single plastic bag
    • Once the plastic bag is filled, tie off the bag, and put it into another plastic bag
  5. Properly Package
    • Clean the outside bag with disinfectant
    • Shipping box must be labeled with the 3-digit code and a biohazard sticker
  6. Ship to Battelle CCDS Site
    • Enrollee contacts their chosen logistics provider to coordinate pick-up and delivery of their N95 respirators
    • Enrollee can either use a logistics provider or their choice or Battelle’s preferred logistics provider
    • The enrollee can drop off their N95 respirators rather than shipping if they prefer. If the respirators are dropped off then they will be required to pick up the respirators when the decontamination process is complete. Return shipping will not be provided in this instance.
  7. Decontaminated & Returned
    • Your shipments are barcoded to ensure chain of custody
    • Your N95 respirators are processed and then verified to ensure they are free of decontaminant
    • Your decontaminated N95 respirators are returned to your facility.
    • If the enrollee dropped off their respirators then they will be required to return and pick up.