While COVID-19 spread is attenuated through social distancing efforts, we are implementing additional guidance to further minimize the risk of spread in all areas at VUMC performing non-clinical functions.
All VUMC employees and activities are essential for the ongoing success of the Medical Center, and many of our non-clinical areas are directly supporting clinical, research and training activities that must not only continue, but expand as we respond to this crisis.
As such, this guidance is, by necessity, subject to the judgment of our department chairs and supervisors throughout VUMC as they consider the role of our wide array of nonclinical functions in essential operations.
Beginning tomorrow and as soon as possible, leaders (Department Chairs, Center/Institute Directors, Department Managers) must enable work-from-home arrangements for individuals with nonclinical duties, with the exception of those performing functions identified below as crisis management and support.
Crisis management and support includes, at a minimum:
- Activities directly impacting or supporting patient care activity. Examples include call center personnel, human resources areas with duties that are necessarily on-site, IT personnel supporting break/fix activities for hardware and software, and human subjects research activities where a delay in the activities would adversely impact the participants.
- Activities supporting coronavirus research and training. Examples include research activities aimed at coronavirus infection, core services utilized by research and training programs working on coronavirus and/or our care response, and training activities that support redeployment of people to workforce areas with growing needs.
- Infrastructure areas that will continue to support VUMC clinical operations and crisis management and support. Examples include plant operations, employee transportation, and food services.
The specific examples listed above are meant to provide comparative guidance to supervisors and department chairs and represent only a subset of the VUMC nonclinical functions and activities that should be classified as crisis management and support.
Areas deemed as crisis management and support should substitute on-site work activities with teleconferencing and internet-based solutions where remote solutions can be utilized. When on-site activities are deemed essential for these functions to continue operating, strict social distancing and hand hygiene practices must be observed.
For non-clinical functions not deemed by chairs and supervisors as crisis management and support, there may be certain situations where no useful work from home arrangement can be provided. In order to continue full pay for individuals in these circumstances, leaders (Chairs, Chief Business Officers, Department Managers, and Timekeepers) should:
- Attempt to identify alternate non-clinical responsibilities. All individuals are asked to be flexible to support our commitment to caring for patients during this critical time.
- VUMC-employed faculty – supervisors and department chairs will identify alternative options for fulfilling departmental, VMG, and other Medical Center needs. In the unusual cases where useful alternative responsibilities cannot be identified, the Office for Faculty Affairs/System Chief of Staff should be contacted.
- Staff – new assignments/responsibilities will be identified for the employee in lieu of their current duties through the VUMC Command Center – Labor Pool Workstream. Best efforts will be made to utilize the existing skills and talents of each individual. Staff refusing reassignment by the VUMC Command Center – Labor Pool Workstream will not be paid but can use flexPTO prior to unpaid status.
- For staff who cannot be assigned a new set of responsibilities, we will utilize the same guidance as for employees working in clinical settings who receive exceptions due to pre-existing health conditions, including documenting affected employees’ time in Kronos as follows:
- NON-EXEMPT STAFF: the timekeeper will need to code their pay as PAH – Paid Admin Home. Only the timekeeper can enter this code into Kronos.
- EXEMPT STAFF: timekeepers will need to code any time as EAH – Paid Admin Home in Kronos. This will be for tracking purposes only. Only the timekeeper can enter this code into Kronos.