To ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and community, Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Physiotherapy Clinics have developed the following policies, guidelines and procedures to reduce the risk of transmission of the Coronavirus. This Plan will be posted at all of our Clinics.
1. Risk Assessment
In each of our clinics, we have identified the areas where there may be risks, either through close physical proximity or through contaminated surfaces. We have included our supervising staff in identifying these risks.
- These risks identified include the following:
- Areas where people gather or several people may use – waiting rooms, lunch rooms, sinks, treatment area, gym area, and washrooms.
- Job tasks where workers and or clients are close to one another – staff at reception desks, practitioners treating patients, colleagues meeting or discussing patients.
- Equipment, supplies, tools that are shared in clinic – office administration stations, clinic treatment beds, physio tools, gym equipment.
- Surfaces that people often touch – doorknobs, counters, chairs, computer keyboards/monitors, telephones, light switches.
2. Policies and Protocols to Reduce the Risk of Transmission
We have developed and are implementing policies and protocols to minimize the risks of transmission. These include:
- Following the guidelines set by the Provincial Health Authorities.
- Following the guidelines from the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia and College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia
- Reviewed health care-specific protocols from WorkSafeBC and implement the relevant ones.
- Encourage the use of Virtual Telerehabilitation whenever possible.
- Expanded our hours to allow for one to one patient treatments and have 10-minute turnaround times for thorough disinfection between clients and time for patient to exit clinic before next patient arrives.
- Staggered our practitioner appointment times to reduce likelihood of congestion at reception desks.
- Reduced the usual number of therapists in our clinics at one time and established occupancy limits (Plaza of Nations: 22; Chan Gunn Physiotherapy Waiting, Reception and Treatment Areas: 24; War Memorial: 14; USB Treatment and Gym Areas for Physiotherapy: 10; Twist Physiotherapy Waiting, Reception, and Treatment Areas: 12) that will be adhered to ensure physical distancing.
- Limit the number of people that attend treatment with a patient unless that patient is a minor or requires a caregiver/translator.
- Using signage (floor/wall) and implemented measures to keep people at least 2m from others unless they must be closer (for treatment).
- Installed plexiglass shields on reception desks.
- Blocked off areas that patients cannot enter.
- Adjusted support staff duties to avoid multiple people entering multiple areas. (reception only does reception, cleaners only clean, etc.).
- Request patients to use washroom before they come to clinic to avoid multiple people entering washrooms.
- Adjust work schedules to avoid congregation in lunch room.
- Ask staff and practitioners to leave immediately after their shift. Practitioners to do their charting electronically outside of the clinic.
- Using signage (floor/wall) to direct patients to treatment areas and avoid crossing paths with another person if alternate routes are possible.
- Trained staff and provided independent contractors with instructions on how to use a mask.
- Posted signage in our clinics on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Practitioners required to follow guidelines for PPE set out by their respective Colleges.
- Request patients to complete the BC Health Authorities screening tool 2 hours before arriving at the clinic.
- Requiring patients to answer the following questions about their COVID-19 risk when arrive outside clinic:
- Are you experiencing cold, flu or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones? Symptoms include: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue or loss of appetite.
- Have you travelled to any countries outside Canada (including the United States) within the last 14 days?
- Did you have close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19?
- Require patients to use masks when entering the clinic. We will provide masks to patients for the fee of $1.00.
- Require patients to use hand sanitizer before entering for treatment.
- Asking patients to call in their insurance or credit card information to reduce the time at our reception desk. These can be put on file for future appointments.
- We will not be accepting cash at this time. All receipts will be emailed to patients.
- Instructing patients to arrive 10 minutes before their appointment and wait outside the clinic until our greeter meets them at the door.
- Limit the number of people in the waiting area to ensure physical distance is maintained.
- Request patients get changed into loose clothing/shorts before arriving. If unable instructed to bring appropriate clothing for their appointment.
- Instruct patients not to bring extra personal items (including jackets, water bottles, cell phones, etc.) that they will not need at their appointment.
- Provide staff and patients with bins to keep outside shoes and clothing if needed.
- Inform patients that they can bring other PPE to clinic they may want to use – gloves, eye protection, footwear, gowns.
- Altered our clinic space to allow for individual treatment zones. Each therapist will have a zone in which they will treat only one patient at a time.
- There will be 2 beds in each zone so one bed will always be sanitized and ready for the next appointment.
- We will require patients to dispose of their mask in the waste-bin near the exit and sanitize hands when exiting the clinic.
- We have reviewed the BCDC “COVID-19: Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Community-Based Allied Health Care Providers in Clinic Settings” and implemented guidelines.
- Have dedicated staff person to disinfect equipment and tools after use and between each patient visit.
- Developed protocols for identifying equipment/supplies that have been used and need disinfecting prior to next use.
- Implemented cleaning protocols for all common areas and surfaces: waiting room, reception desks/computers/phones, washroom, treatment areas, tools, equipment, light switches, and door handles.
- Workers who are cleaning have received adequate training and materials.
- We will disinfect all treatment beds/vinyl pillows after each patient visit and allowing 30 minutes before next use.
- We will disinfect all change rooms and washrooms immediately after use.
- We will disinfect all chairs immediately after use in waiting room.
- We will disinfect employee’s reception area between shifts
- We will disinfect common areas (lunch room) after use.
- We have removed unnecessary plinths, tools and equipment to increase space in the clinic and simplify the cleaning process.
- All our clinics have handwashing facilities on site for all our workers. Handwashing locations are visible and easily accessed. We have policies that specify when workers must wash their hands and we have communicated good hygiene practices to workers.
- Provide adequate supply and easily accessible hand sanitizer for all people entering the clinic as well as for practitioners and staff while working in the clinic.
3. Policies and Protocols to ensure workers and others showing symptoms of COVID-19 are prohibited from the workplace.
We have developed and are implementing policies and protocols to identify people with COVID-19 and manage people that may have been exposed. These include:
- Emailing patients before they arrive the BC Health Authorities screening tool
- Requiring everyone to answer the screening questions before entering the clinic.
- Prohibiting anyone that is:
- reporting or showing symptoms of COVID-19 (Symptoms include fever, chills, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and new muscle aches or headache) the last 10 days,
- anyone who has arrived from outside of Canada within 14 days,
- anyone who has been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
- anyone directed by Public Health to self-isolate.
- These people prohibited will be directed to visit www.healthlinkbc.ca and call 811 for further guidance related to testing and self-isolation. if health officials from 811 clear them to come to our clinic, they will be allowed to enter.
- Require staff and practitioners to stay at home if feeling ill.
- Require patients to cancel their appointment if they are feeling ill. All cancellation fees will be waived.
- Staff and practitioners who start to feel ill at work will be asked to wash hands, provided with a mask, and asked to go straight home. All surfaces, tools, and equipment the worker has come in contact with will be disinfected immediately .
4. Communication and Training Plan
- We will post our COVID-19 Safety Plan in our clinics and on our website.
- We will email all patients coming to the clinic informing with a link to our COVID-19 Safety Plan.
- We have communicated and trained employees on our workplace policies and procedures.
- Workers have been informed to stay home when sick.
- We have posted signage at the main entrance indicating who is restricted from entering the premises, including visitors and workers with symptoms.
- We have posted signage in the clinics on effective hygiene practices.
- Staff supervisors have been trained on monitoring workers and the workplace to ensure the policies and procedures are being followed.
5. Monitoring Clinic
- We will regularly monitor our clinics and updates from Health Authorities and Colleges and adjust our plan as necessary.
- If we identify a new area of concern, or if something isn’t working effectively, we will take steps to update our policies and procedures.
- We will involve supervisors in monitoring and identifying safety.
- Staff, Practitioners, Patients can contact our office manager, Val Russo (email@example.com) if they have any concerns with our COVID-19 Safety Plan.
6. Re-assessing and addressing risks
- After we have been operating for a short period (2 weeks) after re-opening our clinics due to COVID-19 closure, we will re-assess the risks and modify our Plan to address these risks.
- All new staff and practitioners hired by the clinic will be informed and trained on the COVID-19 Safety Plan.