COVID-19 Physiotherapy Appointment Protocol
To ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and community, Excel Physiotherapy Clinics have instituted the following policies and practices.
Please review the following steps to be taken before, during, and after each appointment at Excel Physiotherapy. We appreciate your willingness to follow these standards and promote health and safety for all!
If you are feeling ill, please call and cancel your appointment. No Cancellation Fees will be charges at this time.
On the day of your appointment, we will require you to complete the BC Health Authorities Screening Tool (https://bc.thrive.health/) at least 2 hours before arriving to our clinic to ensure you are safe for your appointment.
When you arrive at the office, you will also be asked a short COVID-19 questionnaire by our staff, prior to entering the clinic. Please note that you will not be able to enter the facility until this has been completed. You will be required to go through this screening process procedure before each consecutive appointment.
All clients who enter our space are required to be wearing a mask. Please bring your
own mask with you, which can be either cloth or paper. A bandana covering your
face is also acceptable. If you do not have a mask, you may purchase one upon your
arrival at the clinic for $2 (proceeds will go to charity). When you enter the clinic, please ensure that your mask is on. If you are purchasing one from us, please indicate this to the receptionist when they escort you in for your appointment, so that they may have it ready for you.
ARRIVAL AT CLINIC
Both the Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex (PSLC) and Port Moody Recreation Centre (PMRC) will be closed, so our office staff will be required to safely escort you in and out of the facility. When you arrive for your appointment, please wait outside the Rec Centre at the
Coquitlam Clinic: South side entrance (Library side of PSLC Complex)
Port Moody Clinic: South side of our office in the courtyard by the glass doors
Our front desk staff will come get you when they are ready for you to come in for your appointment. Please arrive on time, as it is crucial for the flow and safety of our patients and staff.
Please leave all personal items (including jackets, water bottles, etc) in your vehicle. If you will be arriving by bicycle, we ask that you lock your helmet to your bike and leave any other personal items at home.
OTHERS IN YOUR APPOINTMENT
No one will be allowed to accompany you to your appointment, unless you are under the age of 16 and require a parent/guardian, OR you would typically have an assistant with you for safety or mobility concerns. If someone will be accompanying you to your
appointment, please let our administrative team know in advance, so that we can ensure screening is completed by these individuals as well.
Once you enter the clinic, you must stop at the hand sanitizing station and sanitize your
hands. If you prefer to wash your hands, you can use the sink. Our receptionist must observe you complete this task, so please ensure they are
available and watching before continuing. You will then be taken directly into your treatment room.
Please note that there will be no washrooms available to the public, except in the case of an emergency. Please use the washroom at home prior to leaving for your appointment.
The appointment itself will take place fully in your physiotherapist’s treatment room. All equipment is thoroughly sanitized after each client’s use.
AFTER YOUR APPOINTMENT
Once the appointment is complete, you will exit the room and meet the receptionist at the front desk, practicing social distancing when others are around. You will stand on the floor decals in front of the receptionist who will be behind a plexiglass partition. The receptionist will book your follow-up appointments and take any payment. You will then sanitize your hands once more before leaving the clinic. The receptionist will then escort you out of the building. Until the Recreation Complexes re-open for business, all patients must be escorted out of the building. Please be patient while one of our staff members can assist you.
We understand this is a lot, but we are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of everyone. We look forward to seeing you and helping you move well and live well.
Excel Physiotherapy Clinics
If you would like to see all of our Policies and Protocols to ensure your safety and comply with WorkSafeBC, please see our COVID-19 Safety Plan
COVID-19 Safety Plan
To ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and community, Excel 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 (https://files.constantcontact.com/2cd4590b601/e5d4cb64-ef83-4f95-82a2-95580478acf7.pdf)
- 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.
- Have no other people attend a treatment session with a patient, unless that patient is under the age of 16 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.
- Request patients to use washroom before they come to clinic. No washrooms are available to the public, except in the case of an emergency. If they must use the bathroom, the bathroom will be disinfected at all points of contact, immediately following its use.
- 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 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) set out by their respective Colleges and Associations.
- Require patients to complete the BC Health Authorities screening tool https://bc.thrive.health/ at least 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?
- Inform patients that they may not attend our facility if they are sick or have any flu-like symptoms.
- Waive late cancellation fees, due to illness.
- Require patients to use masks when entering the clinic. We will provide masks to patients for $2.00.
- Require patients to use hand sanitizer before entering for treatment and when leaving the clinic.
- Require all staff to wash their hands when they have become contaminated.
- Require therapists to wash their hands after each treatment session and during a session, if they become contaminated.
- 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.
- Encourage receipts to be emailed to patients.
- Instructing patients to arrive no more than 5 minutes before their appointment and wait outside the clinic until the time of their appointment. Our front desk staff will escort them into the clinic, when we are ready for them to come in for appointment.
- Removed chairs 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 to leave all personal items (including jackets, water bottles, etc.) at home or in their vehicle.
- 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 3 beds in each zone so one bed will always be sanitized and ready for the next appointment.
- We will require patients to 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 15 minutes before next use.
- We will disinfect all washrooms immediately after use, while the recreation centres are still closed. Once they re-open, the recreation centre custodial staff will be cleaning the public restrooms.
- We will disinfect all chairs immediately after use in the treatment rooms
- We will disinfect employee/s reception area between shifts
- We will disinfect common areas 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 hand washing facilities on site for all our workers. Hand-washing 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 and leaving 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 ( https://bc.thrive.health/)
- 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 8-11 for further guidance related to testing and self-isolation.
- 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 our COVID-19 Appointment Protocol 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 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, Mark Hampton, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.