August 30, 2011
New Books in the PERC, and some old ones removed
On your next shift, you may notice some changes in the circulating book shelves. I've weeded out many of our older, out-of-date materials from the bookshelves to make room for over 40 new books that have been catalogued and added to the collection.
We have some new and updated titles on prostate cancer, cancer survivorship, women's cancers, cancer nutrition, and many other topics. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the collection, and point out our new additions to patrons and UMHS staff. In addition, if you know of any topics that patients ask about that we could use books on, please let me know at email@example.com.
August 16, 2011
Practical Assistance Center (PAC) Info
Good afternoon again. I wanted to share information about a new Patient and Family Support Services program that was recently launched: the Practical Assistance Center (PAC). The PAC is managed by Dana Selwitz-Zacks, and staffed by two social workers who provide assistance to patients in the areas of guest assistance, financial assistance, and other practical matters.
Location: Room 1139 of the Cancer Center (directly above the PERC on Floor 1)
Hours of operation: 8:30am - 4:30pm M-F
Patients can walk-in to the center or can call the center at any time between 8:30am and 4:30pm. PERC staff can direct patients to the PAC if their needs fit the PAC's services.
The PAC's service offerings:
-a direct link for Cancer Center patients and families to UMHS programs such as the Guest assistance Program (GAP), Patient and Visitor Accommodations (PVA), and the Cancer Center Business Service Team (BST)
-Resource information and referrals for financial assistance, prescription assistance, lodging, transportation, and community resources specific to cancer care
- Assistance with form completion for patients adn families (Medicaid/Social Security, county insurance plans, disease-specific organizations)
- Written information regarding practical assistance (pamphlets, patient education materials, practical assistance resource guides)
- A direct link to community resources via our American Cancer Society (ACS) volunteer (AS: not sure if the volunteer has started yet).
I have already referred several patients to the PAC for assistance, and I am excited about this wonderful new resource for our patients and families.
Infection Control Procedure Update
Good afternoon everyone! I have some updates to our infection control procedures used on the iPods and laptops that we lend to patients in UMHS and at the Cancer Center. Last week I met with Melissa Thakur, an infection control specialist, to make sure that our laptop and iPod cleaning process was robust enough to make sure that our devices would not be the source of disease transmission at UMHS. While most of the process will stay the same, I wanted to share a few notable differences that came out of the conversation. I will also update the procedures on the PERC intranet for reference.
1. The biggest change is that from now on, in addition to wiping down the surfaces (i.e., countertops) on which we clean the laptops/iPods at the beginning of the shift, we now wipe down that surface each time we clean a laptop/iPod. So let's say you set a "dirty" laptop down on the cabinet to get ready to clean it. You then clean it with a Lysol wipe, and before setting it back down on the cabinet, wipe the surface of the cabinet to make sure you are putting a "clean" device on a "clean" surface.
2. Contact precautions procedure changes: There are two changes to share about handling devices that were used by patients under contact precautions. Firstly, according to Melissa, all items removed from the room of a patient under contact precautions are supposed to be wiped down by nursing staff before leaving the room. To be sure, we will also continue our practice of wiping down devices used by patients under contact precautions with bleach wipes. The main change will be that we will no longer wipe the screens of laptops with bleach wipes. Since patients do not usually touch the screens of the laptops in the course of regular use, the risk of transmitting infection via the screen is low. In addition, I will be ordering Virex for the iPods, as bleach is counter-indicated for touch screen devices and can damage the screens. Continue using the bleach wipes on iPods until the Virex arrives.
3. Another note about contact precautions: Always bring devices used by patients under contact precautions back in a fresh clear bag with a "Contact Precautions" sticker on it. Make sure your cart is stocked with a couple of clean clear bags and a sheet of "Contact Precautions" stickers. This will ensure that the "dirty" devices don't touch anything "clean" in the PERC before the device gets cleaned.
These are the changes we've made to our procedures. If you have any questions at all, please ask Lori or myself.
And to all our volunteers who are leaving us for the rest of the summer, and who may or may not be returning in the fall, thank you for your hard work!
August 10, 2011
Hi Lori and volunteers! I wanted to introduce myself on the PERC communication blog. I'm the new(ish) librarian at the PERC. I think I have met all of the reference volunteers, though perhaps not all the tech volunteers. I'm happy to be here and looking forward to a productive and fun year.
As Lori mentioned, I most recently worked as a research librarian at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. I have a strong background in searching medical literature, especially cancer literature. If you have any questions about search strategies or sources, I am always happy to help. I've found that some of our savvier patients appreciate articles from scientific and medical journals, and I'm happy to find them for them.
I've been cataloging new books for the collection, weeding older and unused books, and looking for books that we might order for the PERC. If you have any suggestions, or if you find you are getting requests on a topic for which we don't have many resources, let me know and I'll look for sources that we can add to our collection.
Once again, I'm happy to be here, and am looking forward to getting to know everyone better and make the PERC the best we can be.
Since I am splitting my work week between the CVC and the CCC, the best way to get ahold of me is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, suggestions, or anything else.
August 03, 2011
Just a brief update regarding some of the "quick reference" information, including the PERC paper calendar sheets that were located in the magnetic files near the staff desk. I have reorganized the information and placed it in a binder (orange) to be kept in the remaining magnetic file. (No, we are not going back to paper updates -- just trying to be more organized!)
Please continue making changes to your schedule on the paper calendar and letting me know, via email, when you will be unable to make your scheduled shift. You should continue to refer to the PERC Intranet for all policy and procedure questions related to your duties as a PERC volunteer!
And, as always, please never hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. Many thanks for all your wonderful help in the PERC!