July 8, 2020, Briefing - Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

Questions submitted for this briefing include these topics:

Expanded Remote Work and Return to Earlier Phase

As announced during our July 8 briefing, the decision was made to remain in Phase 2 through Labor Day, and our campus has been and remains safe through the use of non-pharmacological interventions, including universal masking, social distancing, and frequent handwashing. Our infection rates have remained significantly lower than in the community at-large and we continue to monitor trends and make decisions accordingly. We do recommend that anyone who has concerns about returning to campus speak with their immediate supervisor, contact Human Resources Employee Relations, or seek the support of Employee Assistance. Managers are encouraged to discuss and evaluate the work of the department, the physical work environment, and the ability of the employee to work remotely. We recognize that for many, remote work has been efficient and productive, and we will be reassessing our policy on telecommuting.

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Nurse-to-Patient Ratio

We have enhanced our standard nurse-to-patient ratios, which are based on patient acuity, in both the general care and critical care settings by adding a resource called a runner RN. This health care worker is outside help for the bedside RN, in both ICU and general care settings. In addition, we have trained PCTs, RTs, and other ancillary staff to help provide care to these patients.

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Open Enrollment

Annual enrollment for the 2020-2021 benefit year will run from July 15-31. Please monitor your email and our Benefits page (VPN required) for more information in the weeks leading up to annual enrollment, including the dates for virtual benefits fairs and information sessions with live Q&A. As indicated earlier this year, there will be no premium rate increases for health benefits. Regarding the Flex Savings accounts, the deadlines and rules are established by plan documents managed by the UT System Office of Employee Benefits and by federal guidelines. UT Southwestern Medical Center is not able to make any changes to the time frame for use or reimbursement of unused amounts.

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Activist Testing

Activist testing was done in collaboration with Dallas County Health and Human Services. Due to privacy concerns, we will not be releasing any information regarding testing results or demographics. Please continue to monitor the Dallas County Health and Human Services website for information.

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Neurology Wing Opening at Clements

The recent increase of services at Zale Lipshy Pavilion will not affect the time line for the opening of the Neurology wing at Clements University Hospital or future planned services at Zale. The movement of our ENT and Geriatric services to Zale is temporary.

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Expanded Outdoor Seating

We have already set out additional outdoor furniture on both the South and North Campus where we previously had outdoor options. We will review with Business Affairs to confirm the next steps in getting outdoor seating on the West Campus.

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Compliance and Safety Concerns on Campus

As mentioned during the July 1 briefing, any concerns regarding campus violations should be reported through our compliance reporting channels. UT Southwestern maintains several methods by which an individual can report concerns about conduct or suspected noncompliance. These include:

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Listen to the Full Briefing