Elevate Your Health

COVID_19 A New Normal – Policies and Procedures for returning to safe practice

Posted on: June 16th, 2020 | 0 Comments

  Returning to Safe Practice The times they are a changin' and here at the clinic we are committed to creating and maintaining a healthy and safe environment for your treatment experience. While the compassionate and holistic intent of therapy has not changed, how we handle the new physical requirements has. We all need to work together to reduce the exposure and spread of the novel coronavirus and in that vein there are new procedures in place that must be followed for each and every visit. The aim of these procedures is to reduce potential coronavirus transmission by:

  1. Required ongoing honest SELF-ASSESSMENT for signs of Covid-19 related illness in both the patient and the practitioner
  2. Reducing all non-treatment related interactions between all people within the clinic environment
  3. Specifying hand hygiene requirements for practitioners and patients
  4. Avoiding face touching
  5. Enhanced cleaning protocols
  6. Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  7. Meeting professional obligations, particularly related to informed consent and liability insurance
The following orderly steps will ensure that everyone is afforded a high level of safety and trust in being in the clinic
  1. Self Assessment for Symptoms of Covid-19: For patients and massage therapist
24 hours prior to your treatment, you will receive a phone call for a Pre-Screening checklist of questions to ensure your eligibility for treatment
  • Upon booking, patients will be informed of their responsibility to perform a self-assessment prior to their arrival for the appointment . This has been added to “confirmation of appointment” emails and “reminder” communications.
  • The MASSAGE THERAPIST is responsible for performing a self-assessment each day of work prior to arrival at the clinic. This will be documented and posted on the door to the treatment room.
  • 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
    • Generalized 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
  • THE CANCELLATION FEE WILL BE WAIVED if cancelled due to illness.
Upon Arrival:
  • Patients will be required to arrive on time to their appointments, and make the therapist aware of their arrival by phoning or texting FROM THEIR VEHICLE and remaining outside of the clinic until called in.
  • Patients and staff will advise each other of their current Self-Assessment results upon arrival to the clinic.
  • Each massage therapy patient will be greeted at the door.
  • Before entering, each massage therapy patient will have their temperature taken and recorded using a digital head thermometer and then be escorted through doorways to reduce patient-environment contact.
  • The patient will be directed to immediately wash hands with soap and water following the guidelines posted on the mirror in the bathroom.
  • Upon entering the treatment room, patients will also receive a Covid-19 screening questionnaire as symptoms may develop since the previous day.
  • 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***  
  1. Physical Distancing:
  • As our reception area is small and maintaining the recommended 2 m spacing is impractical, all massage therapy patients must wait outside of the clinic and enter unaccompanied unless previously arranged with the massage therapist.
  • Each massage therapy patient will be greeted at the door, and be escorted through doorways to reduce patient-environment contact.
  • To maintain social distancing, the reception area is closed at this time.
    • No patient use of the water cooler. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN WATER
    • No patient use of seating, tables, or counter.
  • Appointment start times will be staggered, and a minimum of 30 minutes will be maintained between treatments to allow for enhanced sanitization.
    • It is important to remain punctual to allow necessary time for adequate cleaning.
Restroom Use:
  • The restroom is equipped with soap and disposable paper towels, as well as proper handwashing guidelines on the mirror.
  • Staff will perform regular sanitization of restroom facilities, as outlined by a cleaning checklist posted.
Within the Treatment Room:
  • Your massage therapist is required to complete a verbal consent with each patient to confirm understanding that physical distancing is not possible during treatment, and of the risks related to Covid-19.
  1. 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.
  • 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.) and before and after greeting patients.
  • Hand washing guidelines are visibly posted on the bathroom mirror.
Within The Treatment Room:
  • The massage therapist 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Enhanced Cleaning Protocols:
  • Additional time (minimum 30 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, stored in individual bins and carefully laundered at an off-site facility.
  • The electronic payment pinpad will be covered by plastic wrap and changed between patients
  • 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.
  1. 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 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).
  1. Professional Obligations:
  • 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.  These protocols have been implemented to help mitigate risk as outlined.  Documents will be provided to staff and patients as required to maintain adherence to protocols set out by the various governmental agencies.  

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Lift Massage Therapy supporting our nurses

Posted on: December 18th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Recently VIHA rolled out its new patient care model CDMR which implements some significant changes to how patients are cared for in hospitals. I see quite a few nurses in my massage therapy practice and have talked at length with them about what is happening in their profession. Registered massage therapy is an allied health care profession in the continuum of care in BC and I think it is very important to be aware of what is happening in our health care system If you are  not aware of this you may want to read a bit further into it and form your opinion as to how the CDMR may affect you or your family and friends now and in the future. This is a letter written by MLA Andrew Weaver outlining what the CDMR is and why VIHA should delay implementation of their plan. http://www.andrewweavermla.ca/background-island-healths-care-delivery-model-redesign-cdmr/ Here is a Times Colonist opinion letter that shares one person's opinion on the issue. http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/letters/hospitals-new-care-model-is-dangerous-1.717816 After reviewing some other information and talking to others about it, I am in full support of the nurse's position to have RNs continue to be the main care givers in critical care situations where their knowledge and training is necessary for the best patient outcomes possible and to prevent needless suffering and/or loss of life. I encourage everyone to educate themselves on this issue and sign the petition below to move VIHA to reconsider its position and consider other alternatives that will maintain a much higher standard in hospital care. https://www.bcnu.org/Campaigns/TakeAction.aspx?actionid=1 In understanding that while change is sometimes uncomfortable, uneasy and comes with risks and unintended consequences, I think that there are some critical facets of nursing and patient care that are not being taken in to account and need to be addressed in order for the whole system to take care of the people it is built to support.  

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