This plan was developed with the goal of reducing the risk of exposure to the virus that causes Covid-19 for both patients and practitioners within our clinical setting. At Momentum Health, it is our commitment to provide a trusting, safe and healthy environment. We hope that with the revised protocols for while you, our patients, we can continue to provide safe and effective treatments. We hope you read and understand the measures we have done to create such a space.
“Coronavirus is transmitted via liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through these droplets through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact.
The virus is not known to be airborne (e.g. transmitted through the particles floating in the air) and it is not something that comes in through the skin.
It can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough. That’s why we recommend you cough or sneeze into your arm and wash your hands regularly.”
The objective of the new protocols is to decrease the potential spread of the coronavirus:
- Required ongoing self-assessment for signs of Covid-19 related illness in both the patient and the practitioner
- Reducing all physical, non-treatment related interactions amongst all people within the practice environment
- Hand hygiene requirements
- Face touching avoidance
- 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 & Practitioners Pre-Screening/Prior to Arrival
- Patients will receive reminders about upcoming appointments with information about arriving at the clinic and trying to achieve social distancing, a Covid-19 screening questionnaire to fill out upon arrival, cancellation/rescheduling due to present symptoms and going touchless contact for payment.
- One day prior to their booked appointment, the practitioner will call the patient personally and ask the patient to complete the online BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment tool and to stay home if they experience any symptoms of Covid-19 or contact 8-1-1.
- The tool can be found here: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en
- The practitioner will use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool daily and will commit to canceling all appointments if symptoms appear.
- Symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses and seasonal allergies. An appointment must be cancelled immediately if either the patient or the practitioner presents with even mild symptoms that may be signs of Covid-19 including: Fever, cough, chills, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of sense of smell
- Covid-19 Symptoms may range from mild to severe and patient should cancel any and all booked appointments, the cancellation policy will be nulled at this point to ensure honesty and compliance from the patient
- As a part of this informed consent form, patients must commit to understanding that while we’ve taken all possible measures to minimize risk of viral transmission, the nature of massage therapy means that physical distancing is not possible in the treatment room.
- In order for massage therapy treatment to commence the practitioner and patient must agree that the therapeutic benefit of massage therapy outweighs any potential consequence of treatment, including the possibility of viral transmission.
- Patients must confirm that they have not been in contact with anyone displaying illness, or signs and symptoms of Covid-19 within 14 days prior to their treatment, as well as they must confirm they have not travelled outside of British Columbia in the last 14 days.
- Patients with higher risk profiles and/or weakened immune systems should consider alternatives for care and postpone treatment at this time, unless patient has given consent.
- The practitioner will advise patients of her current Self-Assessment results upon their arrival at the clinic. Patients will be asked to share their own results.
- Upon arrival patients must complete a Covid- 19 screening questionnaire and sign to confirm that patient is currently experiencing no signs of Covid-19 as outlined here: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/about-covid-19/symptoms
- Masks must be worn at all times within the clinic space. If the patient has a mask, they are asked to bring it with them and wear it when they arrive. If the patient does not have a mask, a single-use/washable mask will be provided and they will be asked to wear it upon entering the clinic space.
- The treatment will be cancelled immediately if the patient does not meet the pre-screening criteria upon physical presentation at the clinic.
Reception Area/Entry into Clinic Space
- Patients must arrive exactly at their treatment time, patient is advised to wait in vehicle or outside of the building if arriving early, then at appointment time, patient has been advised to come to clinic entrance and wait for their practitioner to come and accompany them to the treatment room
- Patients must arrive unaccompanied, unless previously discussed with practitioner
- The practitioner and the patient will both maintain a space of 2 meters (6 feet) distance between each other in all clinic areas outside the treatment room.
- The fabric chairs have been removed from the reception area and in treatment rooms
- Plexiglass has been installed on our reception counter to prevent contact during payment
- Patients are asked to set up a prepayment plan, and receipts will be emailed
- Patients are not encouraged to lounge in the clinic reception area before or after the treatment.
- There are 2 metres/6 feet spacial distance markers on the floor in the reception area
- The tea and water station has been removed from the clinic reception area, patient is encouraged to bring own water/drinking containers.
- Appointment times are staggered and gap increased to 20 min, to reduce the potential of patients crossing paths, and to allow for time in between appointments for enhanced cleaning.
- Patients are asked to arrive on time and not early or late for appointments as the appointments are set and will not be altered if patient is early or late.
- It is not possible to maintain physical distancing while in the treatment room.
- Patients will be asked to keep all personal belongings within a plastic basket, which can and will be sanitized between patients.
- Patients are advised to bring any accessories they will need for their hair
Reception Area/Entry into Clinic Space
Immediately upon entering the clinic space the patient must either use the touchless hand sanitizer dispenser or wash their hands in the sink without touching anything inside the clinic and follow the recommended hand washing guidelines posted next to the sink
- If hands are visibly soiled, the patient must use a wipe, then alcohol-based hand rub prior to moving into the treatment room
- The practitioner will wash hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds between patients, before and after disinfecting spaces.
- Hand washing protocols will be posted visibly in the bathroom and at sinks.
- Payment occurs in the reception area. Cash will not be accepted at this time. A wireless Point of Sale system with Tap is available for card use. The POS machine will be sanitized between each patient.
In the Treatment Room
- The practitioner will open the door to the treatment room and allow the patient to enter. The practitioner will open/close the door before, during and after the treatment as required – reducing the need for the patient to touch the door.
- Patients will be permitted to open the door for themselves after the treatment to let themselves out of the treatment room.
- Tissue is available inside the treatment room that the patient may use as a barrier when opening the door, if patient deems necessary.
- All items that are not easily sanitized after touch have been removed from treatment rooms
- Hand sanitizer is available within the clinic post treatment.
- The door and doorknobs will be disinfected between each patient.
- Practitioner will wash hands and dry appropriately before and after each patient
Avoid Face Touching
- The practitioner 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 those infected droplets to the mouth, nose or eyes.
- Tissue will be available throughout the clinic: in the reception area and treatment room in order that patients and the practitioner may use tissue to address an itch and/or touch the face for any other reason.
- The practitioner will wear a mask if requested/ at all times.
- Patients are required to wear face masks that cover both the nose and mouth at all times within the clinic space.
- Interoral and external TMJ treatments will not be conducted at this time.
- Musculature of the face will not be palpated or treated at this time.
- Additional time has been scheduled between patients to allow for thorough cleaning of the treatment room.
- Visibly soiled surfaces will be cleaned followed by a disinfectant agent approved by Health Canada for use against Covid-19 disinfectant as listed here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs- healthproducts/disinfectants/covid-19/list.html
- Common areas will be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day, including the restroom.
- All high touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected between patients, regardless of appearances. High touch surfaces include (but are not limited to): Light switches, door knobs, POS machine, electronic devices, table surfaces, chairs, stools, window coverings, faucets, etc.
- The treatment table, table levers, face cradle, lotion bottles will be immediately after each treatment.
- All linens, including blankets and pillow cases are single use only and will be laundered using high heat and detergent after each use.
- A disinfected single-use plastic bin has been placed in the treatment room. The patient will be asked to keep all of their personal belongings in this bin during the treatment. Post treatment, this same bin will be used to carry used linens to the laundry room for washing.
- Bins will be disinfected between each patient before cycling back into use.
Restroom for Patient Use
- The restroom has been equipped with touchless soap dispenser and paper towels and proper handwashing guidelines.
- Soap and fresh paper towels for drying will be available at all times.
- A waste bin has been placed next to the restroom door so that patients may use a paper towel to open the door, and then discard of it before re-entering the clinic space.
Personal Protective Equipment
- Respect a patient’s individual personal boundaries and support their requests for PPE to be worn by either individual
- The practitioner will wear a face mask at all times in the clinic.
- The practitioner will wear non-latex gloves if/when appropriate/patient’s request.
- Hands will be washed prior to putting the gloves on and immediately after removing them.
- Patients are required to wear a face mask(cloth or single use) in the clinic at all time, if they do not have one, they can request one at the time of the pre-screening phone call from the practitioner the day before their appointment.
- If the face mask is cloth, the practitioner must explain that the mask is reusable and will be/has been washed with detergent and high heat to ensure proper sanitization
In the current environment of Covid-19 risk, informed consent requires that the patient be informed and understands that:
- Any massage therapy treatment involves some risk of Covid-19 transmission;
- The practitioner is following protocol to help reduce or mitigate risk where possible, but that risk cannot be reduced to zero;
- The patient consents to the treatment despite some risk;
- And the RMT will document the patient’s consent in advance and at every treatment.
- In the event that a patient alleges they caught COVID-19 from the practitioner:
- The practitioner will immediately call public health at 8-1-1 to report the alleged transmission, providing both the name of the RMT and the name and contact details of the patient.
- The patient must agree to the release of this information in order to receive treatment.
- All massage therapy appointments will be cancelled and the practitioner will cease to provide services until Public Health has investigated and provided direction.
- The practitioner will immediately self-isolate until Public Health has investigated and provided direction.
- If the practitioner is working in a team setting, it is the practitioners duty to immediately inform his or her colleagues of transmission risk
- Asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus is an unavoidable risk of practice until there is an effective treatment or vaccine against Covid-19.
- We have put into place protocols to help mitigate that risk as outlined in the preceding documentation.
- Practitioner will update protocol plan if and when new information comes available