QUANTA INTERIM GUIDELINES AND PROTOCOLS
This plan was developed with the goal of reducing the risk of exposure to the virus that causes Covid-19 for both patients and the practitioners within our clinical setting. In this document we are identifying the actions that the therapists at Quanta Integrated Health are taking as well as outlining protocols that all patients at the clinic must adhere to in order to obtain treatment. Our website contains a list of protocols and procedures surrounding interim Covid related policies and procedures. Our booking site has been updated to also reflect basic policies and procedures. For a shorter version to find out how your appointments are affected please check out this page.
The overall 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 therapist
- Reducing all physical, non-treatment related interactions amongst all people within the practice environment
- Outlining Hand hygiene requirements and 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 / SCREENING
All patients and therapists are required to use ongoing self assessment for signs of Covid- 19 related illness. Therapists will be doing daily self assessments and patients are required to do a self assessment prior to each appointment. This is a requirement for each and every appointment moving forward until our governing body removes this requirements.48 hours prior to each appointment at the clinic, a covid screening email will be sent to you and needs to be filled in digitally and returned prior to your appointment. If you do not do fill in this form prior to your appointment your therapist will contact you complete the assessment. If you do not complete the mandatory covid your appointment will be cancelled the day before your appointment and we will screen another patient to fill your spot. You are not permitted to enter the clinic without a screening done and on file. This is a requirement of the College of Massage therapy and massage therapist have been advised that they are unable to treat patients that have not done this self assessment.
All clients will be screened when they arrive for their appointment by asking if they have symptoms associated with COVD-19, have been advised to self-isolate, or have travelled outside of Canada 0r the province within the last 14 days. Clients that respond in the positive should be asked to leave and reschedule the appointment when deemed clinically appropriate.
WHAT IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS
If you have any of these symptoms DO NOT come into your appointment: Call 811
We ask that if you have any signs or symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms or feel sick in any way that you please stay home. If you are experiencing any cold and flu symptoms do not make appointments and please cancel appointments if you are sick. Do not come to the clinic if you are symptomatic. If you are sick before your appointment go online to cancel your appointment or please contact us to reschedule as we would like you to be fully recovered before coming to our office. All patients can cancel appointments online by logging into their account 24 prior to their appointment. In the event that you need to cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours notice please email the clinic or contact your therapist directly. Anyone who is symptomatic is asked to cancel their appointment and if they arrive at the clinic with symptoms they will be asked to leave the clinic. They will not be able to obtain treatment.
If therapists are experiencing any cold and flu symptom they will cancel appointments and will not come to the clinic if they are symptomatic.
CONSENTS AND WAIVERS
Patients are required to sign a new informed consent to treatment form at their first appointment back. This is to ensure that you are fully aware of the risk of treatments are are providing renewed consent at this time. This is only required for this initial appointment. We will rely on verbal consent moving forward. Patients will also be required to sign a liability waiver pertaining to COVID 19 prior to their first appointment. This will only have to be done once either prior to the initial visit or at the initial appointment in the event that it is not filled in ahead of time. If you have any concerns pertaining to the risks of obtaining treatment due to the inability to socially distance during a manual treatment we request that you refrain from treatment at this time.
USE OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
All our staff that come within 6 feet or 2 meters of patients will be wearing a mask. We recognize that PPE has been determined to not be as effective as physical distancing as a method to control transmission rates. Due to the nature of our profession social distancing is not possible in the treatment setting. As we are unable to social distance during manual treatments, patients and therapists are required to wear a non mask while at the clinic. Wearing a mask is required prior to entering the clinic and is required for the entire duration of your time at the clinic. Patients are encouraged to bring their own clean mask to the clinic to be worn during treatment. If you do not have a mask of your own, one will be provided for you (at a charge of 2.00) If for medical, physical health related or mental health related concerns you are unable to wear a mask please you will be unable to be treated at the clinic at this time.
If you wish to wear gloves you may, however you will be required to put on fresh ones after you enter. There are no outside gloves allowed in the clinic environment.
SOCIAL / PHYSICAL DISTANCING
Physical distancing has been indicated as the most effective way to control transmission rates. As a result we have implemented certain social distancing protocols to help reduct transmission rates. Our therapists will be adhering to social distancing requirements whenever possible. Our therapists will be practicing physical distancing for all non-treatment interactions. During treatments social distancing is not possible and patients will be made aware of those risks prior to treatment.
We are required to limit the number of people in the clinic at any given time. We are asking patients who arrive early to wait in their vehicles. If there is someone in the waiting area we ask that you remain outside until your appointment time.
We have removed some of the chairs from the reception area
We have also staggered our appointment times in order to attempt to limit the number of people in the clinic at any point in time and reduce the number of people that patients and therapists will be in contact with.
Patients are not permitted to bring additional people to appointments at this time. If you are a client that requires a chaperone or will be bringing others to wait in the reception area we are unable to book appointments for you at this time. We have been mandated to reduce the number of people in the clinic at any given time.
There will only be one patient allowed in the room at a time, unless you are under the age of 16 and require a parent/guardian. One parent will be permitted in the treatment room and will be required to wear a mask throughout the treatment. Both people attending will be required to fill out the waiver, complete the screening questionnaire and wear masks.update: we are not currently treating patients that require additional people in the treatment room.
Social distancing requirements will be adhered to at all times in the clinic when not engaged in manual treatment.
HAND HYGIENE PROTOCOLS AND AVOIDANCE OF FACE TOUCHING
Patients are required to use hand sanitizer when entering the clinic prior to touching any surfaces, after touching their phone and when leaving the clinic.
Alternatively if patients are not comfortable using hand sanitizer when entering the clinic they will be required to wash their hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds as per the CDC, WHO and BC PHO protocols. We have touchless hand soap dispensers for your convenience.
All therapists and staff at Quanta will adhere to strict hand hygiene protocols. Therapists will ensure that they are washing their hands with soap and water when entering the clinic, prior to all treatments, post treatments, before and after eating/drinking, after using the washroom and regularly throughout the day. The therapists will adhere to the hand washing protocols as outlined by our regulatory body, the CDC, WHO and the government.
We have touchless hand sanitizer pumps available at the clinic and we require all patients to use hand sanitizer when entering and leaving the clinic.
Hand sanitizer in available in each treatment room and we encourage all patients to use the hand sanitizer after touching any surfaces before touching the door and when exiting the clinic. Therapists will be using the hand sanitizer in the treatment room as recommended.
We ask that you attend your appointment on time. This will help to minimize waiting in the clinic waiting room, as the RMTs have staggered appointment times to allow for proper social / physical distancing.
After your appointment is finished, we ask that you leave promptly after washing your hands or using hand sanitizer provided in the front reception area.
Your appointment time includes any outstanding forms, confirmation of COVID assessment, assessment, treatment and charting. Therapists will be unable to extend treatment times or accommodate you in the event that you do not show up for your appointment on time. All therapists will be starting and ending appointments on time. We are attempting to minimize the risk of contact with others. This allows for proper sanitization / disinfecting of the treatment room and various areas in the clinic as well as following social / physical distancing protocols.
SANITIZATION AND DISINFECTING AT THE CLINIC
We will continue to adhere to strict standards set out by our regulatory body and Vancouver Coastal Health pertaining to health and cleanliness. All therapists and staff will adhere to all health, safety and sanitation protocols outlined by the government, our regulatory body and work safe BC. We have always done this in order to protect both our patients and our therapists. We have a very diverse patient base that includes immune compromised patients, auto-immune patients and patients with various health conditions, so we have always maintained strict sanitation policies and procedures in order to accommodate those patients.
Treatment areas will continue to be sanitized between sessions and we will continue to change all linens and follow proper hand washing protocols. We will also continue with our sanitation procedures pertaining to high touch surfaces.
The clinic environment will be regularly disinfected throughout the day as required by our governing body. We will be using approved disinfectants and sanitizers.
Massage tables, chairs, stools and treatment supplies will be sanitized / disinfected after each treatment. Frequently touched surfaces will be sanitized / disinfected multiple times per day. All high touch surfaces will be sanitized between patients (including door knobs, light switches, keys, faucets). Specific sanitizer for the table is provided and will be used on the stools, vinyl cover on the tables and on the steri pillows between each patients.
Linens, blankets, pillowcases and any other table covering will be washed in hot soapy water after each single use. Please note that all items including blankets are single use and will immediately be put in the laundry after use. All linens must be changed for every patient.
Thermophores are no longer allowed at this time due to CMT regulations; however, we have table warmers underneath a vinyl table protector that can be turned on for patients if they get cold. The vinyl table protector will be sanitized / disinfected after each treatment.
Dyson air purifiers are available in each room. We will be using the air purifier throughout your day. We are also able to adjust the temperature for patient comfort with the Dyson Hot Cool link.
ENGINEERING CONTROLS TO MINIMIZE RISK
Staff are asked to minimize the use of shared equipment and to disinfect all shared equipment when used. We have minimized these risks by having separate computers in each treatment room.
All shared equipment will be sanitized during the day after use and disinfected by each therapist at the beginning and end of the day (this includes door knobs, light switches, microwaves, faucets, computer keyboards and screens, phone etc)
We have been paperless for years and we will continue to do so. We ask that all patients provide scanned documents (like MD referrals, ultrasound results etc) through email rather than bringing physical documents to the clinic.
We have virtual payment processing integrated into our scheduling software to limit the risks associated with payment terminals.
USE OF COMMUNAL SPACES
We are unable to ensure that all communal spaces in the building are disinfected prior each patient entering the building as this is a building that is used by other businesses. All communal spaces are cleaned regularly however we acknowledge that there may be risks associated with communal areas. Please use the washroom at home prior to your appointment. Due to our washroom being a communal washroom shared with other businesses we cannot guarantee that it will be disinfected for every patient. Our washrooms are cleaned regularly. By choosing to use the public washroom you are acknowledging that the owners and staff at Quanta, the building owners and lease holder are not responsible.
HOW TRAVELLING AFFECTS YOUR APPOINTMENTS
If you have been outside of the country or province , please follow the federal guidelines and self-isolate for 14 days. This applies to patients as well as therapists or staff. We have been advised not to treat any patients that have been outside of the country or province until 14 days after they have arrived home. If you have been outside of the country, please follow the federal guidelines and self-isolate for 14 days.This unfortunately means that you will have to cancel your appointments at the clinic even if you are asymptomatic. You can resume massage therapy appointments once your 14 days are up. This also applies if a family member that is living with you has travelled outside of the country. If therapists or Quanta staff are travelling outside of the country we will follow the federal guidelines and self isolate for 14 days prior to returning to work.
RECEPTION AND WAITING AREA
Due to the square footage of the clinic space we are presented with challenges pertaining to physical distancing so patients are requested minimize the amount of time in the common areas of the clinic by arriving at their appointment time.
Signage will be posted at the entrance of the clinic and within the clinic to assist with communicating expectations such as hand hygiene, physical distancing, reporting illness, occupancy limits and not to enter if they re unwell or in self isolation.
Our clinic is paperless and contactless and will continue to use digital charting and contactless payment processing
Our waiting area is no longer to be permitted to be used as a waiting area. It is not permitted due to our new guidelines. We are not allowed to have people sitting in the waiting area for extended periods of time. We are requesting that patients wait in their vehicles and arrive just a few minutes before your appointment time. Clients are not to arrive more than 5 minute prior to your appointment time. If you are walking or taking transit please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. We still have chairs in the reception area however it is very difficult for us to adhere to the social distancing requirements due to the small space so please try to be as respectful of others as possible if you are in the common space.
All unnecessary items will be removed from the reception area. We have removed all magazines and unnecessary items from the reception area.
Water will still be provided at this time however you will have to ask your therapists for a glass as we are no longer leaving glasses out in the reception area. All patients are requested to use hand sanitizer or wash hands prior to touching the water dispenser.
NOT ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS AT THE CLINIC
We have decided to not accept new patients at Quanta Integrated Health at this time. We find it difficult to establish proper communication with new patients and its unclear if they are familiar with our policies and procedures prior to their first appointment. This has put unnecessary strain on our therapists as they attempt to ensure that our new patients understand our policies and procedures and are willing to adhere to them. Our objectives at this time are to ensure that our therapists and patients are in an environment with minimal risk to them and we are all working collaboratively to ensure this. We feel that its difficult to determine if unknown patients are compliant and will ensure that they follow the policies and procedures in place as we have not established a professional relationship. We are confident with our current patient base at the clinic that they will follow our policies and procedures to keep all of those at Quanta safe as we have already established a professional relationship with clear expectations, boundaries and open lines of communication. We have already established an clinic environment where patients will not come in sick and will cancel appointments, will respect the current procedures and polices in place and they will also adapt to new protocols and procedures that arise periodically. We feel that by limiting new patients at Quanta we minimize any adverse impact on our current patient base, ensure that we are remaining compliant and we can meet the needs of our current patients while adhering to our strict protocols.
These requests are in alignment with the Public Health and Provincial Health Directives, and your efforts will help to keep us all healthy and safe. We all have a responsibility to ensure we are limiting possible transmission, and we thank you for doing your part.As the following weeks and months progress, our guidelines will most likely change and need to be tweaked as well. We will continue to put our faith in and listen to the BC PHO, WHO, BCCDC, WCB and CMTBC. Thank you for your understanding and patience during these unprecedented times.