36C25021AP0188 – Sources Sought – Sources Sought 36C25021AP0188

Nov 5, 2020 | Sources Sought

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Dayton VA Medical Center (DVAMC) located at 4100 W 3rd Street Dayton, Ohio 45428 is seeking to provide daily COVID-19 screening and COVID-19 Testing at designated points across the Dayton VA Medical Center campus and all associated locations.  This effort will follow current and future VA and CDC guidelines in a manner aligned with DVAMC I CARE values. 

Instruction to Offerors Guidance:

This Sources Sought notice is not a Request for Quote (RFQ)/Request for Proposal (RFP) and no solicitation is being issued at this time. This notice shall not be construed as a commitment by the Government to issue a solicitation or to ultimately award a contract, nor does it restrict the government to a specific acquisition approach. Any information provided to the Government as a result of this sources sought notice is strictly voluntary. Responses will not be returned. No entitlement to payment or direct or indirect costs or charges by the Government will arise as a result of contractor submission of responses or the Government’s use of such information.

This Sources Sought Notice is for planning purposes only and is intended to identify eligible contractors in any socioeconomic category who can support this requirement. An eligible contractor is a contractor who possesses the qualifications, capability, and relevant experience to meet/exceed the Government’s requirements.

Instructions for Submission:

Interested contractors shall respond by e-mail only to Brandi Holland, Contract Specialist at Brandi.Holland2@va.gov. Responses are due no later than Monday, November 9, 2020 by 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), Columbus, OH. 

Respondents shall include as part of their submission:

Indicate if you can meet/exceed the government’s requirements as stated below in the Performance Work Statement (PWS).

Name of your business, Point of contact name, phone number, email address of point of contact,  DUNS Number, Socioeconomic Group (large business, small business, veteran-owned business, etc.)

A brief summary of relevant experience, relevant past contracts, and applicable qualifications/capabilities (as it pertains to this requirement) must be included. (It is the government’s expectation that the contractor would be able to provide a detailed, innovative plan and a cost-effective pathway/solution to meet/exceed the objectives that are contained in the document entitled “Performance Work Statement (PWS).  See subsequent pages to follow.

 

 

 

 

Performance Work Statement (PWS)

Dayton VA Medical Center

COVID-19 Screening and Testing Performance Work Statement

  1. Introduction.  To support COVID-19 screening efforts and to ensure the safety of both your patients and employees.  Dayton VA Medical Center (DVAMC) is developing a manpower contract to provide 24-hour sustainable screening coverage.
     
  2. Scope. 
  1. COVID-19 Door Screening and Testing
  1. The purpose of this requirement is to provide daily COVID-19 screening and COVID-19 Testing at designated points across the Dayton VA Medical Center campus and all associated locations.  This effort will follow current and future VA and CDC guidelines in a manner aligned with DVAMC I CARE values. 
     
    The contractor shall furnish all labor, training, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) (i.e. Mask, Gloves, Goggles/Face Shields and Touchless Thermometers).  The contracted screeners and COVID-19 tester will utilize FDA and/or VA approved PPE equipment, that will meet all applicable OSHA and NISOH guidelines and standards to ensure services being provided is in such a manner to assure the safety and welfare of patients, visitors, and staff. 
     
  2. To ensue standardization, DVAMC will provide clinical testing swabs and require the following healthcare professional so that clinical guidelines for testing is conducted in a manner aligned with DVAMC I CARE values.  These licensed nursing staff must be vetted in alignment with current Dayton VAMC standards with nursing hires. 
    1. Two (2) Clinical Providers – one Registered Nurse (RN), and one Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), contract employees with documented clinical competence for COVID-19 testing.
       
    2. Two (2) Nursing Assistants (NA), contract employee present as COVID-19 door entrance/exit management, escort, and ‘runner.
  1. Clinical Staffing Requirement
  1. For RNs and LPNs

 

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • English Language Proficiency
  • Full and unrestricted RN or LPN licensure for the State of Ohio – cannot be any other state
  • BLS certification
  • Fingerprinting/security investigation
  • Credentialing (verification of education, licensure, National Practitioner Date Bank reporting, etc.) – must be completed by our Credentialing Office and the credentialing file then approved by the ADPCS

  1. For NAs

 

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • English Language Proficiency
  • BLS certification
  • Fingerprinting/security investigation
  1. Estimated Contract Staff/FTE needed 39.7 total hours required per week to include weekends (1,585).

    

Location (Subject to change, based on need)

# of Screeners based on a       40 Hr. Week

Shift Coverage

Total Hrs. based on Screeners Per Week  

Contractor Lead/Supervisor

1

6am – 2pm

40

 

 

 

 

CBOC’S (Monday-Friday)

4.5

7am – 4pm

180

Emergency Department (24hr 7 days a week)

4.2

24 hours

168

Community Living Center (CLC) Bldg.320 (7 days a week)

2.6

7am – 10pm

105

Community Living Center (CLC) Bldg. 330 (5th Floor 7 day a week)

2.1

7:30am – 8pm

84

Primary Care (Monday -Friday)

2.8

6am – 5:30pm

110

Main Lobby Bldg. 330 (7 days a week)

7.4

6am – 8:30pm

294

MRI (Bldg. 335)

3.5

6am – 8:30pm

140

Mental Health (Bldg. 302 Monday-Friday)

3.3

7:30am – 8:30pm

130

Mental Health (Bldg. 302 Saturday)

0.1

9 am – 1pm

4

Mental Health (Bldg. 409 Monday-Friday)

1.0

7:30am – 4pm

40

Mental Health (Bldg. 410 Monday-Friday)

3.3

7:30am – 8:30pm

130

COVID-19 Tester (RN) B 330 1D-104 (Monday-Friday)

1.0

7:30am-4pm

40

COVID-19 Tester (LPN) B 330 1D-104 (Monday-Friday)

1.0

7:30am-4pm

40

COVID-19 Runner (Nurse Assist) B 330 1D-104 (Monday-Friday)

2.0

7:30am-4pm

80

Total Hrs.

1585

Total Number of Individuals Required.

39.7

  1. Period of Performance.  The inventory services shall be available starting January 1, 2021 and be completed by December 31, 2021 for the base year with 1 additional optional year through FY22.  
     
                Dates:

        • Base Year- January 1, 2021- December 31, 2021
        • Option Year 1- January 1, 2022-December 31, 2022
  1. Place of Performance.  To include but not limited to the following locations.  All primary associated locations listed below to include Regional Offices, VISN Offices, Vet Centers, National Cemeteries, VBA Offices, and Research Offices which will be defined before and or during the initial kick-off meeting. Note: There are several locations outside of the main facility area.
     

Screening Locations Addresses

Location Name

City

Address

State

Distance in Miles from Main Campus

Department of Veterans Affairs

Dayton VA Medical Center

4100 W 3rd Street 45428

Ohio

Main Campus

Lima CBOC

Lima

750 West High Street

Ohio

76.4 miles

Springfield CBOC

Springfield

1620 N. Limestone St.
Springfield

Ohio

36 miles

Richmond CBOC

Richmond

1010 North J Street
Richmond

Indiana

42 miles

Middletown CBOC

Middletown

4337 North Union Road
Middletown

Ohio

24 miles

  1. Contractor Responsibilities.
     
  1. Contractor shall provide a Monthly report to the Facility no later than 5 working days after the end of the month.
     
  2. Contractor shall provide supervision, and travel to each screening location listed below.
     
  3. Contractor shall not begin work until the Contracting Officer (CO) or Contracting Officer's Representatives (COR) has conducted a kickoff meeting or has advised the contractor that a kickoff meeting is waived.
     
  4. Contractors shall provide the appropriate number of qualified individuals at the beginning of the contract to the CO and or COR.
     
  5. Contractors will ensure that contract staff follow Medical Center Dress Code and Cellular Phone medical center policies. (See Attachment B)
     
  6. The contractor shall prescreen all personnel to ensure they maintain a U.S. citizenship and are able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language.
     
  7. In alignment and compliance with CDC and VAMC standards, the contractor shall ensure an effective COVID-19 screening process is in place for the contractor employees prior to start of each shift, to insure negative COVID-19 screening status in order to protect the safety of the contract employees, Veterans, visitors, and employees.
     
  8. These position effectively is the greeting entry station for VA employees and for the Veterans and their family/significant others, who have honorably served our country.  As such, the contractor and contractor employees will adhere to the Employee and Conduct medical center policy, including facility Code of Conduct, the Guidelines for Ethical Boundaries in Staff-Patient Relationships, and the Guidelines for The Hatch Act.  Please see Attachment C. 
     
  9. The contractor shall submit or have their employees provide the required forms (SF 86 or SF 85P, SF 85P-S, FD 258, Contractor Fingerprint Chart, VA Form 0710, Authority for Release of Information Form, and Optional Forms 306 and 612) to the VA Office of Security and Law Enforcement within 30 days of receipt.
     
  10. The contractor, when notified of an unfavorable determination by the Government, shall withdraw the affected employee from working under the contract. Failure to comply with contractor personnel security requirements may result in termination of the contract for default.
     
  11. Contractors shall provide their own equipment and PPE Supplies for scanning purposes, including Mask, Gloves, Goggles/Face Shields and Touchless Thermometers) that is FDA or VA approved and meet all applicable OSHA and NISOH guidelines and standards.
  12. Contractors shall provide training to all contracted staff in advance regarding the required screening protocol and Instructions. (Note: Screening guidelines/Questions are subject to change based on CDC guidelines and it is the contractor responsibility to stay abreast of any changes). See Attachment B.
     
  13. Contractors shall comply with VAMC security and access requirements.
     
  14. Contractors shall provide notice for any delay, which will impact the overall project. The CO or COR will then review the facts and issue a response, in accordance with applicable regulations.
     
  15. The contractor shall meet with the COR or Facility Contract Lead for an after-action review as a debrief to advise the contractor of what was successful or not successful each month.
     
  1. Facility Responsibilities.
     
  1. The VA will nominate one (1) COR/Facility Lead and one (1) Nurse Leader (clinical component) during the length of the contract. These members will be available to the contractor at the kick-off meeting.
     
  2. The VA will ensure that the designated VAMC Facility Leads have informed all VAMC employees about the contract staff.
     
  3. The VA will provide a detailed listing of screening locations.
     
  4. The VA will ensure site access to all locations in this contract to prevent unproductive downtime.
     
  5. Facilities will provide workspace needed to perform tasks, and their full cooperation to aid in answering questions, both general and specific related to Screening and Testing Processes.
  1. Government-Furnished Information, Equipment, and Facilities. FAR Clause 52.245-4 Government-Furnished Property (Short Form) contains the basic requirements for the operation, maintenance, and protection of government property.
     
  2. Contractor-Furnished Equipment and Supplies. The Contractor shall furnish and maintain in acceptable condition, at no cost to contract, all items of equipment necessary to perform work required by this contract, and additional items as needed, within reason.
  1. Security Requirements.  The contractor will not require access to the VA network. All contractor employees will be the subject of a background investigation and must receive a favorable adjudication from the VA Office of Security and Law Enforcement prior to contract performance.  This requirement is applicable to subcontractor personnel requiring the same access.
     
  1. Designated as Position Sensitivity – The position sensitivity has been Low Risk.
     
  2. Background Investigation – The level of background investigation commensurate with the required level of access is background check.
  1. Clinical Background Requirements for COVID-19 contract employee Veteran testing?
     
  1. Records Management.
     

    1. The contractor shall treat all deliverables under the contract as the property of the U.S. Government for which the Government Agency shall have unlimited rights to use, dispose of, or disclose such data contained therein as it determines to be in the public interest.
       
    2. The contractor shall not create or maintain any records containing any Government Agency records that are not specifically tied to or authorized by the contract. The Government Agency owns the rights to all electronic information (electronic data. electronic information systems, electronic databases, etc.) and all supporting documentation created as part of this contract.
       
    3. The contractor must deliver enough technical documentation with all data deliverables to permit the agency to use the data.
       
    4. The contractor is required to obtain the Contracting Officer's approval prior to engaging in any contractual relationship (sub-contractor) in support of this contract requiring the disclosure of information, documentary material and/or records generated under, or relating to, this contract.
       
    5. The Contractor (and any sub-contractor) is required to abide by Government and Agency guidance for protecting sensitive and proprietary information.
       
  1. Government Responsibilities
     
  1. The VA Office of Security and Law Enforcement will provide the necessary forms to the contractor, or the contractor’s employees, after receiving a list of names and addresses.
     
  2. Upon receipt, the VA Office of Security and Law Enforcement will review completed forms for accuracy and forward the forms to the office of Personnel Management (OPM) to conduct background investigations.
     
  3. The VA Office of Security and Law Enforcement will notify the CO, and contractor, of adjudication results received from OMB.
     
  4. Upon being notified about a favorable determination, the CO may issue a notice to proceed to the contractor.
     
     
    ATTACHMENTS
    Attachment A:  Current Screening Guidelines/Instructions
    CURRENT SCREENING GUIDELINES/INSTRUCTIONS
    Review at the Beginning of Every Shift
    Subject to change with CDC and/or VA Guideline changes.
    Visitor Guidance sheet
  1. PPE must always be worn: Medical Grade mask (not home-made) and face shield are required, gloves are optional. 
  1. Thermometers are non-touch thermal scanning: Push button and hold thermometer close to forehead. It takes about a second to get a reading.
  1. Use Hand Sanitizer often to clean gloves or hands.
  1. ALL persons entering must be wearing some sort of face covering. If they do not have one – please give them a mask. If person refuses to put a mask on – Contact the Police via the radio.  Per the Chief, Infectious Disease, if a cloth face covering cannot be tolerated, have them hold a tissue against their mouth and nose to contain respiratory secretions.
  1. At end of your shift, use Oxivir wipes to clean the thermometer and station and prepare for handoff to next shift. 

Screening Employees:

  1. Employees should have self-checked for symptoms and can come through with a thumbs up while showing their PIV Badge. Failure to give a thumbs up or show badge will REQUIRE employee to have temperature checked and screening questions answered.
  2. Screening is needed ask: Do you have a new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, other flu-like symptoms (chills, body aches, fatigue, headache, diarrhea, loss or smell or taste) or have you been told to self-quarantine because of exposure to someone with COVID-19 or a pending test for COVID-19? Check Temperature with non-touch thermal thermometer.
  1. Negative Screening: No to all and temperature <100 F, Employee may report to work.
  1. Positive Screening: Yes, to any or high temp.  Temperature will be taken a second time and if recheck is >100 F, Employee should return home and contact their supervisor.

Screening Patients and Visitors:

  1. Please refer to Visitor Guidance Sheet. ALL persons entering must have legitimate business: appointment, lab, vendor, contractor, etc. All visitors must adhere to the visitor guidance sheet.
  1. Ask all: Do you have a new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, other flu like symptoms (chills, body aches, fatigue, headache, diarrhea, loss or smell or taste) or have you been told to self-quarantine because of exposure to someone with COVID-19 or pending test for COVID-19?  Take temperature with non-touch thermal thermometer.
    1. If the answer to the questions is NO and temperature is less than 100 F – the person may enter and conduct their business
    1. Positive Screening:  Yes, to any of the questions or high temperature.  Temperature will be taken a second time and if recheck is >100 F, the person(s) should be asked to return home and contact their primary care physician. If the person(s) believes they need immediate medical care they should be escorted to the Emergency Department. Please call the them on the radio and let them know.
    1. ED Screeners will use Vocera to call the ED charge nurse and let them know of a positive screen.  The patient is to be sent to the clerk station with mask on after notifying ED charge nurse.  DO NOT USE CHECK IN SHEET
    1. *NOTE: Some patients are being asked to come in when they are not feeling well. These patients should call their PACT team upon arrival and enter through the Primary Care Entrance. There an LPN from the PACT team will take them where they need to go.

Attachment B:  Dress Code and Cellular Phone Policies

 

DRESS CODE POLICY

1.         POLICY.        Each employee’s personal appearance contributes to the overall image of the Medical Center as a provider of quality health care.  It is the policy of this Medical Center that employees wear appropriate clothing suitable to the professional health care environment and employees maintain standards of personal hygiene and grooming that promote safety and enhance infection control.

2.         RESPONSIBILITIES.

  1. Service Chiefs and Supervisors
  2. All Employees
  1. PROCEDURES.
  1. Employees who are not required to wear uniforms are expected to wear clothing that is suitable for the professional health care environment and to present themselves in a manner that reflects positively on the Medical Center.  All employees are expected to present a clean and neat appearance.  Individual Services may have policies more specific than the standards outlined below and may include the wearing of a specific uniform.  In these instances, AFGE, Local 2209, and Nurses United (NNU), will be notified of the proposed policy and afforded the right to represent and negotiate on behalf of the bargaining unit employees affected by the proposed policy.
  1. Employees required to wear uniforms shall wear the complete uniform while in a duty status.
  1. The following are the Medical Center’s standards for personal appearance.  These standards also apply to any casual days designated by the Service Chiefs.  Employees must follow the service guidelines for their work areas, especially where health, sanitation and safety are a consideration.  Exceptions to these standards may be made by supervisors and Service Chiefs for special events and assigned tasks, such as moving offices, packing, etc.
  1. Clothing – All clothing must be clean, neat, and professional.  It is never appropriate to wear stained, wrinkled, frayed, or revealing clothing to the workplace.
  1. Skirts/Dresses
  1. The length of all skirts, dress shorts/skorts (culottes), whether split or not, cannot be more than 3” above the knee while sitting.  Mini-skirts and spaghetti-strap dresses will not be worn while in a duty status.
  1. Dresses/blouses with low tops, bare shoulders (spaghetti straps) or bare backs are not appropriate in the healthcare environment, e.g. evening/party or sun dresses, unless worn with a jacket/lab coat.  Garments shall not be sheer or see-through.  No bare midriff garments will be allowed.
  1. Pants
    1. Pants and slacks, including Capri pants, should not be too tight fitting (body contouring).  Extremely baggy pants are not to be worn while in a duty status.
    1. For employees assigned to any area that has direct patient contact or contact with the public excluding areas where uniforms are required, blue jeans are not permitted.  Exceptions may be made for special events and duties.
    1. Jogging suits, sweat suits, warm-ups, shorts and stretch (lycra®) clothing, leggings/tights, stirrup pants are not appropriate dress in our Medical Center.  Exceptions may be made for special events and duties.
  1. Shirts
  1. No t-shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops or muscle shirts shall be worn in the Medical Center, unless worn under other garments, such as dresses, jumpers, or jackets.  Exceptions may be made for special events and duties.  Clothing having sexual, political, and/or negative connotations, written or pictured, is not permitted.
  1. Shoes
  1. Shoes should be clean, safe, and compatible with the hospital environment and assigned duties.  Rubber heeled shoes are highly recommended in order to maintain a quiet environment, especially in-patient care areas.
  1. Flip-flops, thongs, and house slippers are prohibited.
  1. Heels should not be higher than 3” for safety reasons.
  1. Hose or socks must be worn. 
  1. Others
  1. Hats, caps, and head covers will not be worn while on duty unless they are part of a VA issued uniform, religious attire, or safety/sanitation gear.
  1. Clothing, which is sheer and/or revealing, is not permitted.
  1. Buttons or clothing displaying political advertising and/or slogans that may be offensive, insulting, or profane are not permitted.
  1. Name Badges
  1. Identification badges must be worn above the waist at all times with the employee’s name and photograph clearly visible.  In certain circumstances, employees may use first name and the first initial of their last name.
  1. Religious Exceptions
  1. Reasonable accommodations may be made on an individual basis for employees with properly documented religious needs.  Requests with supporting documentation should be submitted to the employee’s Service Chief.
  1. Medical Exceptions – Deviation from this policy for a medical condition will require a physician’s statement that includes a time period for the exception.
  1. Service Chiefs and Supervisors – Service Chiefs and Supervisors are responsible for explaining this policy to their employees and assuring employees in the work environment are meeting the standards of personal appearance.  Supervisors will follow the procedures described in the compliance section of this policy.
  1. All Employees – Employees are responsible for compliance with the standards contained in this policy.  If there are questions about the appropriateness of any particular dress item, they should discuss this with their supervisor and/or union representative.  When employees are in conflict with the established dress code policy, a good faith effort will be made with the employee, union representative, if requested, and supervisor to resolve the conflict at the lowest level.  All employees will be furnished a copy of this policy.  New employees shall be furnished a copy of this policy during orientation.
  1. Compliance
  1. Employees who do not comply with these guidelines, without appropriate justification, may be considered “not ready for duty”, and may be sent home by their supervisor(s) with leave status being dealt with administratively.  Employees will be offered an appropriate uniform for their work area for the day in order to be compliant.
  1. If necessary, supervisors may authorize administrative leave sufficient for the employee to go home and return in compliance for the first offense, and annual leave for each subsequent offense.
  1. Employees who fail to comply with these guidelines may be subject to disciplinary action(s).  If the parties are unable to resolve the conflict or non-compliance becomes habitual, counseling and/or progressive discipline will be conducted as appropriate.

CELLULAR PHONES (CELL PHONES)

  1. PURPOSE:  Use of cell phones is inevitable in many parts of the Medical Center. This policy is not intended to interfere with this essential form of communication relating to VA or patient care.  Except on breaks and lunch, the intent is to refrain from personal/private conversations in patient areas, sending or accepting personal calls and/or personal text messages in front of patients, and to assure that the use of such devices do not in any way interfere with patient care.
  1. POLICY:        It is a policy of this Medical Center to provide a safe environment for patients, visitors, and employees.  Though these instruments are vital to business applications, telephone/cell phone usage must not interfere with patient treatment which is provided by this Medical Center and our Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), regardless of whether the electronic device is VA issued or personally owned.  Notwithstanding, VA employees who have been issued VA owned cell phones may utilize these forms of communication only in the performance of their official job duties, similar to the manner in which e-mail is used. However, even this form of business communication may be prohibited in certain areas of the Medical Center where signage is posted.   Additionally, while supervisors cannot regulate the ownership of a personal cell phone, they are obligated to monitor the enforcement of this policy.  Every employee’s primary purpose is to care for our customers.

 

  1. DEFINITIONS:  The following definitions apply to this Medical Center.

  1. Cell Phone:  A wireless device used for communication that is contracted from companies such as Sprint, AT&T Wireless, Verizon, Cingular, etc.  This is not to be confused with cordless phones that work off a base station.
  1. Cell Phone Abuse:   Defined as interfering with interaction with a patient or visitor; answering personal phone calls, sending and/or receiving text messages while in a patient’s room or any direct patient care area.  Taking photographs or videos of Veterans, Patients and Staff is prohibited in all patient care areas of the Medical Center (i.e., CBOCs, Community Living Center).  Photographs or videos of the Medical Center campus (i.e., Grotto, Historical Landmarks) are permissible.

4.         RESPONSIBILITIES:

Biomedical Engineering – The biomedical engineering staff shall investigate problems with medical equipment that may be caused by electromagnetic interference (EMI) from cell phones and other EMI sources.

  1. Office of Information and Technology (OI&T) maintains a list of all cell phones that are issued to the facility’s employees.  Periodically, these cell phones are inventoried, and unscheduled audits are completed.
  1. Employees – Each employee is to observe this policy and ensure that his/her actions do not cause harm on the Medical Center or CBOCs.  Employees are to tactfully remind visitors and patients, of this policy in the event of violation, if signs prohibiting cell phone usage are posted.  Employees with private/personal or VA-issued cell phones will adhere to the following procedures.

5.         PROCEDURES:

  1. Cell phones must be on vibrating or silent mode while in patient care areas.
  1. Providers (Physicians, Nurses) may utilize a cell phone during direct patient care when appropriate for researching clinical information, diagnosing, prescribing, counseling, or medication/dosage administration.
  1. At no other time is an employee allowed to use a cell phone when providing patient treatment or attending to patient concerns, i.e. check-in counters; exam rooms, escorting, etc.
  1. At no time are employees permitted to plug a cell phone into a VA computer.
  1. In accordance with Medical Center Policy OIT-04, Telephony Equipment and Ancillary Services, cell phones issued by the VA will not be used for personal business.
  1. Personal cell phones with photographic/video capabilities are considered photographic devices.  Unauthorized photography is prohibited throughout the Medical Center and Medical Center grounds without explicit approval of the Medical Center Director or designee.  Unauthorized photography or videos is prohibited in all patient care areas throughout the Medical Center.
  1. Cell phones will be turned off while in any area of the facility where signage is posted that expressly forbids use of cell phones in that area.  All signage will be authorized by Medical Center Director. Cell phones shall not be used within 3 feet of medical equipment.
  1. Playing games or sending/reading personal text messages in front of patients/visitors is prohibited, except on breaks and lunch.
  1. If you are in a meeting, turn off your cell phone or place your phone on vibrate.  If the call is non-essential, let voice mail answer.  If you must accept a telephone call, excuse yourself from the meeting.  Do not carry on a conversation where others can hear you.
  1. Employees who fail to comply with the above guidelines may be subject to administrative action(s).

Attachment C:  Employee Responsibilities and Conduct

EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILTIES AND CONDUCT

  1. POLICY.        Employees, at all levels, are expected to observe the highest possible standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality, compassion, courtesy, and ethical behavior towards patients, visitors, and fellow employees.  Any employee who violates established conduct requirements may be subject to appropriate disciplinary or adverse action, pending the outcome of an administrative investigation.  Management is committed to enforcement of conduct requirements, including but not limited to the Standards of Ethical Conduct, 5 CFR Part 2635, and the facility Code of Conduct, the Guidelines for Ethical Boundaries in Staff-Patient Relationships, and the Guidelines for The Hatch Act (Attachments 1-4)
  1. Human Resources Management Service (HRMS) will furnish a copy of this policy to all new employees during their orientation.  All employees will review the content of this policy during annual in-service training held within their Service, as well as during the annual rating period.
  1. Employees with questions about acceptable conduct should first check with their supervisor for advice.  If the supervisor cannot answer an employee’s question, the employee should be referred to the appropriate Employee/Labor Relations Specialist and Union Representative for assistance.
  1. Any employee, at any level, noting apparent violations of conduct requirements should consult with their higher-level supervisors within their respective Service and the appropriate Employee Relations Specialist and Union Representative for advice and assistance in addressing the misconduct.
  1. The Code of Conduct (Attachment 1) has been developed to clarify for employees their responsibilities in support of the Medical Center’s commitment to eradicate misbehavior.  The capsulated Principles of Ethical Conduct (Attachment 2) have applicability to all employees of the federal government.  The Guidance of Ethical Boundaries in Staff-Patient Relationships (Attachment 3) applies to clinical and non-clinical staff.  In addition to the Code of Conduct, the following conduct requirements continue to be applicable for all Medical Center employees:
  1. Employees, at all levels, are required to familiarize themselves with 5 CFR Part 2635, Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch.
  1. Employees, at all levels, are not permitted to bring onto the Medical Center, or have in their possession while on the Medical Center, firearms or other weapons, ammunition, narcotics, alcoholic beverages, or items of like nature.  The use or possession of such articles on Medical Center grounds, whether on the person of the individual, in a locker, or in a vehicle for which the individual employee is responsible, will be sufficient basis for disciplinary or adverse action.
  1. Peddlers, collectors, newspaper vendors, beggars, solicitors, distributors, and vendors of any article or commodity will not be permitted to practice their vocations in any activity of the VAMC except when they have a formal written contract with VAMC.  Infractions should be reported immediately to Police Service for appropriate action.
  1. Employees, at all levels, (with the exception of relatives) are forbidden from accepting a bequest made in the last will and testament of any VAMC patient.  Employees will not prepare wills for patients.  Those patients or beneficiaries desiring to execute wills will be advised to consult a qualified attorney.  Only in an emergency capacity may employees witness wills executed by patients except in accordance with Attachment 3.
  1. Employees, at all levels of the Medical Center, regardless of the type or form of remuneration, will not privately employ patients.  Domiciliary patients on incentive therapy assignments at this Medical Center will not be requested to perform personal services for employees.
  1. Employees, at all levels, are prohibited from buying, accepting gratis, or having in their possession any item which is donated or furnished tax‑free for distribution to patients, i.e., craft kits, playing cards, etc.
  1. Employees, at all levels, will not accept money from patients for the purpose of making purchases for the patient, nor will employees offer to cash checks, money orders, or other comparable items.  Employees, at all levels, will refrain from entering into financial transactions with patients, including borrowing or lending money.
  1. VA owned recreational equipment, including radio and television sets, will not be moved or used by employees, unless specific authorization is received from the supervisor responsible for the use of such equipment.
  1. Patients will not be permitted to borrow or drive employees' automobiles.  Employees, at all levels, are likewise prohibited from driving or borrowing automobiles belonging to patients.  This restriction does not apply to VA Police Officers in the performance of their official duty.  Employees, at all levels (with the exception of relatives) will not transport patients on or off the Medical Center grounds in privately‑owned automobiles, except for specific official business, and with prior approval.
  1. Under the Privacy Act of 1974, employees, at all levels, may not collect or maintain information about other employees, applicants, patients, or others dealing with the Medical Center, unless the information is relevant and necessary to the official purpose for which it was collected.  No information, which has been collected concerning an individual, may be disseminated, except in the performance of official duty.
  1. Employees, at all levels of the Medical Center, will limit the personal use of the internet in accordance with VA Directive 6001, Limited Personal Use of Government Office Equipment Including Information Technology.  Additionally, staff will limit personal use of government office equipment including information technology to periods of official breaks, lunch periods, and non-duty time.
  1. Employees at all levels are prohibited from engaging in romantic, sexual, or financial relationships with patients or patient’s family members.  These types of relationships are considered unethical and inappropriate.  Employees must inform their supervisor and/or the treatment team of any existing relationship at the time of a patient’s admission, or as soon as the employee is aware of the admission; and remove themselves from a role in the patient’s care.
  1. Abuse of a patient can include verbal abuse such as teasing, speaking harshly, rudely, irritably or profanely to a patient; showing indifference, scolding or ridiculing a patient; physical abuse such as striking a patient or handling a patient in an unnecessarily rough manner; unauthorized financial transactions with patients; and negligence in the performance of duties relative to patient care.  Alleged patient abuse:  Acts against patients which involve physiological, sexual, or verbal abuse.  The patient’s perception of how he/she was treated is an essential component of the determination as to whether abuse occurred.  However, any physical sexual contact may be considered patient abuse even if such action is consensual.
  1. Items requiring headphones or “ear buds,” such as iPods, MP3 players, “Walkman” radios/cassettes/CD, etc. will only be used while on duty with supervisory permission.  Radios, CD players, and iPod/MP3 player in docking stations can be used in work areas but are to be kept at a noise level that is not disruptive to the work being done or would challenge phone conversations.
  1. Any employee who witnesses a violation of these rules and does not promptly report such to the proper authority is also subject to disciplinary or adverse action.  It is the responsibility of each employee to familiarize him/herself with the Standards of Conduct and the attached Code of Conduct.

Code of Conduct for Employees of the Dayton VA Medical Center

  1. As employees, you are the Dayton VA Medical Center.  You are what Veterans see when they enter our facility for care.  We are judged as a Medical Center by your performance and conduct.  We are the care you provide, the attention you give, and the courtesy you show.
  1. As a result of your key role in determining what quality is at this Medical Center, the following Code of Conduct has been established to define the expectations of every employee of the Medical Center – at all levels of the organization:
  1. As an employee of the Dayton VA Medical Center, you are expected to:
  1. Exhibit courteous, respectful and compassionate behavior toward patients, co-workers and visitors, as a requirement of your position, not as an option.
     
  2. Refrain from emotional, romantic, sexual, and financial involvement with patients or patients’ family members.
     
  3. Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.
  1. Treat your supervisor(s) with respect, following their directions and guidance in a cooperative, responsive manner in completing assignments.  Supervisors are expected to afford their employees the same degree of respect, provide them a role in decision-making and be responsive to their issues of concern.
  1. Consider yourself as an employee of the Medical Center, not just of a single Service, and promptly report any circumstances which might compromise good patient care or effective Medical Center operation.
  1. Take issues of fire, safety, and security seriously, and promptly report any unusual situations or emergencies.
  1. Review and adhere to local policies and procedures related to the code of conduct.
     
  1. Dayton VAMC has adopted an environment of care that not only extends to our patients, but also to our co-workers.  ICARE values are aligned with Reigniting the Spirit of Caring, fostering empathy, compassion, and mutual respect throughout the culture of our organization by applying foundational principles of Relationship-Based Care.  Department culture plays a critical role in the care of our patients and how the patients perceive the medical center.  Our mission begins with the following commitments to co-workers and a shared goal of excellent patient care:
  1. I will accept responsibility for establishing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships with you and every member of this team.
     
  2. I will talk to you promptly if I am having a problem with you. The only time I will discuss it with another person is when I need advice or help in deciding how to communicate with you appropriately.
     
  3. I will establish and maintain a relationship of functional trust with you and every member of this team. My relationships with each of you will be equally respectful, regardless of job title, level of educational preparation, or any other differences that may exist.
     
  4. I will not engage in the “3Bs” (Bickering, Back-biting and Blaming) and ask you not to as well.
     
  5. I will practice the “3Cs” (Caring, Commitment and Collaboration) in my relationship with you and ask you to do the same with me.
     
  6. I will not complain about another team member and ask you not to as well. If I hear you doing so, I will ask you to talk to that person.
     
  7. I will accept you as you are today, forgiving past problems, and ask you to do the same with me.
     
  8. I will be committed to finding solutions to problems rather than complaining about them or blaming someone for them and ask you to do the same.
     
  9. I will affirm your contribution to the quality of our work.
     
  10. I will remember that neither of us is perfect and that human errors are opportunities, not for same or guilt, but for forgiveness and growth.

 

PRINCIPLES OF ETHICAL CONDUCT FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

 

Executive Order 12674 of April 12, 1989 (as modified by E.O. 172731)

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish fair and exacting standards of ethical conduct for all executive branch employees, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Part I – Principles of Ethical Conduct

Section 101. Principles of Ethical Conduct.

To ensure that every citizen can have complete confidence in the integrity of the Federal Government, each Federal employee shall respect and adhere to the fundamental principles of ethical service as implemented in regulations promulgated under sections 201 and 301 of this order.

(a)        Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.

(b)        Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.

(c)        Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using non-public Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.

(d)        An employee shall not, except pursuant to such reasonable exceptions as are provided by regulations, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee’s agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s duties.

(e)        Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.

(f)        Employees shall make no unauthorized commitments or promise any kind purporting to bind the Government.

(g)        Employees shall not use public office for private gain.

            (h)        Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.

(i)         Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.

(j)         Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.

(k)  Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse and corruption to appropriate authorities.

(l)         Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those-such as Federal, State, or Local taxes that are imposed by law.

(m)       Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.

(n)        Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law, or the ethical standards promulgated pursuant to this order.

Sec. 102. Limitations, on Outside Earned Income.

(a)        No employee who is appointed by the President to a full-time non-career position in the executive branch (including full-time non-career employees in the White House Office, the Office of Policy Development, and the Office of Cabinet Affairs), shall receive any earned income for any outside employment or activity performed during that Presidential appointment.

(b)  The prohibition set forth in subsection (a) shall not apply to any full-time non-career employees employed pursuant to 3 U.S.C. 105 and 3 U.S.C. 107(s) at salaries below the minimum rate of basic pay then paid for GS-9 of the General Schedule.  Any outside employment must comply with relevant agency standards of conduct, including any requirements for approval of outside employment.

ETHICAL BOUNDARIES IN STAFF-PATIENT RELATIONSHIPS

The purpose of these guidelines is to define appropriate boundaries in staff-patient relationships and advise staff of the appropriate standards of conduct with which they must conform.

1.         Staff will maintain appropriate boundaries with patients and beneficiaries consistent with the role of the staff member in the medical center and the ethical standards of their discipline or profession.

2.         Staff must conform to the government-wide Standards of Ethical Conduct (5CFR Part 2635) and Department regulations and medical center policies including, but not limited to MCP 05-07 Violent Behavior Prevention Program, MCP 05-014 Employee Responsibility and Conduct and MCP 00Q-07 Risk Management Program.

3.  Staff-patient relationships must minimize the appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest.

4.         Staff will not engage in financial transactions, accept gifts or other forms of compensation from patients or their families or representatives except as they:

a.         Engage in the management of patient funds when such management is part of their official duties at the medical center.  This activity is to be defined in policy by the service and designated employees will be given written notification of this role.

b. Engage in financial transactions with patients with whom they have a personal relationship (e.g. family, guardian) as long as the transactions are personal in nature and do not take place while the employee is functioning in a medical center staff role.  Staff should notify his/her supervisors when engaging in such activity.  Supervisors should monitor such activity to ensure that appropriate boundaries are maintained.

5.         Employees should not participate in the evaluation of patients with whom they have a personal relationship, or for potential compensation or pension from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

6.         Employees should not provide direct care or support services to any patient or beneficiary with whom they have a significant personal relationship.  The employee must notify his/her supervisor of the situation.

a.         The supervisor may choose to minimize the appearance of impropriety by removing the employee from the care of the patient

b.         Any personal care provided to the patient by the employee will be done on personal time and will be only of a nature consistent to the personal relationship.  Employees will not misapply government resources.

7.         Employees should avoid forming new personal relationships with anyone in the active patient status at the medical center.  The employee must notify his/her supervisor if a meaningful relationship develops which could give the impression of impropriety or conflict of interest.

8.         Employees are cautioned that establishing a relationship with any patient with diminished mental capacity or with a psychiatric diagnosis may be construed as patient abuse and is therefore not permissible.  A personal relationship includes, but is not necessarily limited to, acceptance of funds, acceptance of gifts, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

9.         Employees must consult with their supervisors, the Risk Management office, or Human Resources Management Service whenever they interact in their official role with patients with whom they have maintained a personal relationship in order to avoid problematic situations.

GUIDELINES FOR THE HATCH ACT (POLITICAL ACTIVITY)

The Hatch Act restricts the political activity of executive branch employees of the Federal government. As employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, we fall under the executive branch; therefore, the Hatch Act applies to us.

In 1993, Congress passed legislation that substantially amended the original Hatch Act, allowing most Federal and DC employees to engage in many types of political activity. With these amendments, most Federal and DC government employees are now permitted to take an active part in political management or in political campaigns with certain restrictions. Some Federal agencies and categories of employees continue to be prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity, such as individuals employed with the FBI and those in the senior executive service in any agency.

Employees may:

    • Be candidates for public office in nonpartisan elections
       
    • Register and vote as they choose
       
    • Assist in voter registration drives
       
    • Express opinions about candidates and issues
       
    • Contribute money to political organizations
       
    • Attend political fund-raising functions
       
    • Attend and be active in political rallies and meetings
       
    • Join and be active in political clubs and parties
       
    • Sign nominating petitions
       
    • Campaign for or against referendum questions, constitutional amendments, and municipal ordinances
       
    • Campaign for or against candidates in partisan elections
       
    • Make campaign speeches for candidates in partisan elections
       
    • Distribute campaign literature in partisan elections
       
    • Hold office in political clubs or parties.
       
      Employees may not:
  • Use official authority or influence to interfere with an election
     
  • Solicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business before the VA
     
  • Solicit or receive political contributions
     
  • Be candidates for public office in partisan elections
     
  • Engage in political activity while:
     

    • On duty
       
    • In a government office
       
    • Wearing an official uniform
       
    • Using a government vehicle
       
  • Wear political buttons at work
     
     

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