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Reflections from a Director in a time of CoronaCrisis

It's amazing how much can change in a week.

Yesterday one of our overworked ops team passed me my to do list and it was all wrong: plan staff bonding, call stakeholders, coordinate lunch.

It was my to do list from a previous week.

And holy toledo has my to do list changed in the last six days.

On Thursday last week we had an emergency meeting to determine what we were going to do for COVID19.

There was a lot. We resolved that we had to:

- bring forward our 6month plan to roll out video consulting

- entirely change our entry and triage process

- support our medical, ops and allied team as much as humanly possible

- change our website to reflect the changes

- wholesale change to our operating and billing systems

And then on Sunday it was announced anyone coming back from overseas had to be self quarantined for 14 days. Our practice manager was in NZ, coming back Monday. We’d lost our key player for 14 days.

A few swear words were expressed.

Over the last 5 days we have

- been at the clinic til 1-2am each day creating an online video consulting platform (4 days instead of 6months)

- had emergency meetings with our GPs at 9pm

- seen our Psych’s and EPs come up with whole new processes

- changed our triage process each morning

- been constantly amazed at the quality of people that work with us

I don’t think I can emphasise how good our team has been.

On Monday and Tuesday our nurses Taylor and Lisa did not sit down. I caught Lisa eating lunch at 4pm yesterday and she tried to apologise for taking a break.

And yesterday as I got off my 10th call in 30min i walked downstairs to see Taylor running past me, through the front door to stab a needle full of narcan into an overdosed patient on a bench outside a window.

Our doctors have had full books, not a breath of time free but somewhere in there they have also learnt a whole new online video system and consulted us on our patient flow systems.

The other reflection that sits in the forefront of my mind as I write this is just how good people are.

Every patient that I have interacted with in the practice this week has been upbeat, they’ve been appreciative, they’ve taken the time to speak to each other and to our staff who are being run off their feet. The laughter in the waiting room and triage area is the best medicine for fatigue.

But this is just the beginning. And we have a long way to go.

But for me, all of these experiences make me so confident in the people that we have working at the Neighbourhood Clinic as well as the amazing community of people that attend the clinic.

Thank you one and all.



And Leon, Anthony, Damien


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