Achieve Health Protocols for Returning to Practice
Returning to Safe Practice
The aim of these protocols is to reduce potential coronavirus transmission by:
- Required ongoing self assessment for signs of Covid-19 related illness in both the patient and the practitioner
- Reducing all non-treatment related interactions amongst all people within the clinic environment
- Specifying Hand Hygiene requirements for practitioners and patients
- Avoiding face touching
- Enhanced cleaning protocols
- Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Meeting professional obligations, particularly related to informed consent and liability insurance
- Self Assessment for Symptoms of Covid-19: For patients and Practitioners
Pre-Screening / Prior to Arrival:
- Patients will be informed of their responsibility to perform a self-assessment prior to their arrival for the appointment upon booking. This will be verbally communicated to them from reception, as well as has been added to “confirmation of appointment” emails and “reminder” communications.
- The therapist is responsible for performing a self-assessment each day of work prior to arrival at the clinic. They must also document their assessment on their provided form to be displayed at the entry to their treatment room.
- The self assessment tool can be found here https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en
- If either party exhibits symptoms related to Covid-19, they are responsible for immediately cancelling all appointments. Symptoms include:
- Fever – Cough – Chills – Shortness of breath
- Sore throat or pain with swallowing – Stuffy or runny nose
- Loss of sense of smell or taste – Headache
- Muscle aches – Fatigue – Loss of appetite
***Covid-19 symptoms may range from mild to severe. Patients and practitioners MUST cancel appointments, regardless of the severity of any symptoms***
- In order for treatment to commence, the practitioner and patient must agree that the therapeutic benefit of therapy outweighs any potential consequence of treatment, including the possibility of viral transmission.
- Patients with higher risk profiles and/or weakened immune systems should consider alternative care and postpone treatments
- CANCELLATION FEE WILL BE WAIVED if canceled due to illness.
- Patients will be required to arrive on time to their appointments, and make reception aware of their arrival by phoning the clinic, knocking on the door, or checking in via the Jane Online Self Check-In
- Patients and staff will advise each other of their current Self-Assessment results upon arrival to the clinic.
- Patients will also receive a Covid-19 screening questionnaire upon arrival. Staff is responsible for checking Covid-19 screening tests filled out by patients, as well as receiving and documenting Covid-19 specific verbal consents from patients prior to treatment.
- The appointment will be cancelled if the patient or provider do not meet the pre-screening criteria upon physical presentation at the clinic.
***All staff is responsible to screen as we go, erring on the side of caution***
- Physical Distancing:
- Two patients maximum are permitted in the common clinic space at any given time. Patients must arrive unaccompanied unless previously arranged with treating therapist.
- Staff is responsible for greeting patients at the door, and holding/escorting patients through doorways to reduce patient-environment contact. They are also responsible for encouraging patients to move effectively within the clinic by educating them of revised practices and maintaining 2 metres distance between while in common areas.
- To maintain social distancing, the reception area is closed at this time.
- No patient use of the water cooler
- No patient use of seating, tables, or counter
- Appointment start times will be staggered, and a minimum of 15 minutes will be added to the booking time to allow for enhanced sanitization between patients.
- It is important to remain punctual to allow necessary time for adequate cleaning.
- To reduce traffic in the lobby, booking future appointments will need to be done via the online booking program or over the phone. If a predetermined treatment schedule is necessary, please schedule your patients prior to them leaving the treatment room.
- Patients will receive any documents they need prior to their appointment, and have them filled out online, or BEFORE their scheduled appointment outside of the clinic (i.e. their vehicle)
- Staff will greet patients and end the session by opening and closing the door for them. Staff are required to prevent anyone else entering common spaces.
- Staff will repeat the above step for their individual treatment rooms.
Restroom/Wash Station Use:
- Both stations are equipped with soap and disposable towels, as well as proper handwashing guidelines.
- Staff will perform regular sanitization of restroom facilities, as outlined by a cleaning checklist posted.
Within the Treatment Room:
- Staff are required to complete a verbal consent with patient to confirm understanding that physical distancing is not possible during treatment, and of the risks related to Covid-19.
- Hand Hygiene:
- Immediately upon entering the clinic, the patient will be asked to wash their hands with soap and water as per the posted guidelines at the hallway wash station.
- Staff will wash their hands with soap and water as per the posted guidelines before and after disinfecting spaces, before donning or doffing PPE (i.e. masks, glasses, etc.), before and after greeting patients.
- Hand washing guidelines are visibly posted at the wash stations.
Within The Treatment Room:
- Staff will open and close doors, as required, to reduce patient contact.
- Tissues are provided within the treatment room that the patient may use as a barrier to touching surfaces.
- Doors, doorknobs, and any other surfaces will be disinfected between patients.
- Face Touching:
- The therapist will communicate with the patient that coronavirus can be transmitted by touch if droplets are on the hand when it touches the face, as it can transfer infected droplets to the mouth, nose or eyes.
- Tissues or paper towels are available throughout the clinic for staff and patients to use as a barrier from touching their faces (i.e. to scratch and itch)
- Therapists will be required to have a clean mask available if requested, and will wear it if necessary for patient or personal comfort.
- Patients are encouraged to bring and wear their own masks. The clinic will carry a limited number of disposable masks to be made available if the patient requests.
- Enhanced Cleaning Protocols:
- Additional time (minimum 15 minutes) has been scheduled between patients to allow for thorough cleaning of the treatment room.
- Staff will be trained in sanitization processes.
- Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces between patients, and throughout the day, according to the cleaning checklist provided and posted to each treatment room.
- All linens will be single use, and carefully laundered at an off-site facility.
- All common areas and high-touch surfaces will be disinfected regularly throughout the day, according to the cleaning checklist posted.
- Cleaning will be visible to patients to retain transparency.
- Patients are encouraged to leave personal belongings outside of the clinic. A small space within treatment rooms will be dedicated to patient belongings and will be thoroughly sanitized between patient appointments.
- Personal Protective Equipment:
- Staff must have cloth or paper/disposable (surgical) masks available for patient’s use if requested, and for Staff’s use if patient requests it. Cloth masks must be laundered after each use.
- Respect a patient’s individual personal boundaries and support their requests for PPE to be worn by either individual.
- If a cloth mask is offered to a patient, it must be evident that the mask is clean and has not been worn by others.
- If either party feels that additional risk mitigation is necessary, a decision to wear a mask at that point is one way forward.
- Donning and doffing mask: wash hands with soap and water prior to putting on a mask, prior to taking off a mask, and after disposing of a mask in the laundry or garbage (cloth or paper/disposable).
- Professional Obligations:
- Staff are encouraged to practice at only one location.
- In the event that a patient alleges they caught Covid-19 from a staff member
- The staff member will immediately call public health at 8-1-1 to report the alleged transmission, providing both their name, and the patient details.
- All treatments provided by that staff member will cease until Public Health has investigated and provided direction.
- The staff member will immediately self-isolate until Public Health has investigated and provided direction.
- Informed Consent
- Staff will educate each patient that treatments involves some risk of Covid-19 transmission
- Staff will educate each patient of our standard protocols to mitigate risk where possible, but ultimately risk is never reduced to zero
- The patient must consent to treatment while acknowledging the risks involved.
- Staff will document patients consent in advance and at every treatment.
Asymptomatic transmission is an unavoidable risk of practice. We have put into place these protocols to help mitigate risk as outlined. Documents will be provided to staff and patients as required to maintain adherences to protocols set by Achieve Health.