Protocol & Guidelines for COVID times

 1. Self-assess for symptoms and return when healthy: For patients, and practitioners.

PRE-SCREENING – PRIOR TO ARRIVAL

  • Patients will be informed about the new procedures we’ve implemented. Clear information is included on our website, online booking system, and phone message.
  • Patients are advised prior to arrival that mask usage is required at all times as required by the PHO.
  • Informed consent is required. This means that our patients understand that while we’ve taken measures to minimize risk of viral transmission, the nature of massage therapy, osteopathy, and acupuncture, counselling, and movement therapies, means that physical distancing is not possible in the treatment room/studio.
  • Thorough and honest pre-screening for symptoms of COVID-19 will be completed.
  • Patients must confirm they have not travelled outside British Columbia in the previous 14 days.
  • 48 hours prior to each Massage and Osteopathic appointment, each patient will be contacted and asked to complete the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment. This communication may be via email but please feel free to call if you have any questions or would like to discuss further. If the Self-Assessment tool instructs you to book a test for COVID-19 and self-isolate, and/or to call 8-1-1, you are required to cancel your scheduled appointment and to not book any appointment until you are cleared of risk of COVID-19.
  • All practitioners use the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool daily, and stay home/cancel appointments if we are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • For patients at greater risk: we will take additional precautions, discuss alternatives for care, postpone treatment – explore options. Health practitioners may provide treatment when the patient and therapist agree that the benefits of care delivery outweigh the risk to the patient. If you are uncomfortable in any way please let us know and we will reschedule you as soon as you are feeling comfortable (top of wait list).
  • Our cancellation policy has relaxed to ensure honesty and compliance with pre-screening questions. Fees will be waived at this time, however we ask to be given as much notice as possible to ensure that we can fill the scheduled time. Furthermore, we will do our best to ensure the patient is able to rebook within a reasonable amount of time. 

SCREENING UPON ARRIVAL

  • All practitioners who share the practice environment here at Santé Holistic Health Centre, have a common understanding of operating procedures and apply them consistently.
  • Upon arrival, the practitioner and patient may run through th BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool outcomes again – confirm mutual safety and trust in moving forward.
  • The practitioner should cancel treatment if the patient doesn’t meet the pre-screening criteria on physical presentation at the practice environment.
  • Pre- and during clinic visit: We will do our best to ensure that the patient feels empowered to make their own decision on what they need to feel safe in order to receive treatment.
  • Patients at greater risk: if pre-screen results indicate “go ahead”, we may continue to assess necessary precautions upon arrival.

2. Physical Distancing

RECEPTION / entry

  • Physical distancing protocols are in effect – we all must maintain 2 metres / 6 feet of distance in clinic areas other than the treatment room, as best as possible within the practice setting.
  • Magazines, flyers and business cards have been removed.
  • Glasses at the water cooler have been removed. Patients may bring their own water bottle. If they must use a cup, please wash with soap and water and dry thoroughly with disposable paper towel before and after use and leave in sink.
  • Traffic is reduced through staggered appointment start- and end- times and more time between clients.
  • Patients must arrive unaccompanied unless patient is a minor who requires parent/guardian, or infirm and needs assistance (see recommended protocol, below).
  • Patients wait outside or in your car rather than in reception. They may arrive 1-3 minutes before their appointed time unless they are a first time client (Massage only) with paperwork to fill out.

THERAPISTS’ SHARED AREAS, multi-practitioner setting, e.g., kitchen, studio, washroom

  • Each practitioner will use their own personal devices to access scheduling and accounting programs. There are no shared computers or phones. 
  • Storage/meals/coats, extra clothes, etc., will not be kept with others.

TREATMENT ROOM

  • It is not possible to maintain physical distancing in the treatment room.
  • Pre-screening, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and enhanced cleaning help reduce the risk of transmission, and enable treatment while minimizing risk of harm.

WASHROOM FOR PATIENT USE

  • Patients are encouraged to use the washroom at home to limit usage of clinic washroom.
  • Hand towels have been removed. 
  • Lights may be kept on to avoid touch to light switches. 
  • Door knobs, taps, air freshener are frequently sanitized. 

STAIRS TO ACCESS CLINIC

  • Guests are encouraged to use stairs one person at a time, allowing priority to elders and people who are experiencing less physical ability.

3. Hand Hygiene

RECEPTION / ENTRY

  • Patient may wash hands at the kitchen sink upon entry, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, followed by thorough drying.
  • Sanitation station with alcohol-based hand rubs for patient’s use on arrival and prior to departure is also available.
  • Practitioners must wash hands often, using soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds each time.
  • Hand-washing protocols are posted visibly in reception area, at sinks, and in bathroom.
  • Payment will occur in the practitioners separate treatment area, or e-transfer payment will be arranged. Receipt is emailed to patient. Cash is not preferred but may be handled provided that anyone doing so washes their hands immediately afterwards.

IN THE TREATMENT ROOM

  • The practitioner opens the door to the treatment room and allows patient to enter. After the treatment, the patient sanitizes hands before opening the door to leave the treatment room.
  • Hand sanitization options are available for practitioner and patient.
  • Hand washing will occur before and after treatment (both practitioner and patient).
  • Practitioner and patient clean their hands prior to donning and immediately after removing the mask. Avoid touching or adjusting mask while in use. 
  • Payment occurs in the treatment room, e-transfer or credit card on file for payment is prefered. Receipt is emailed to patient. Cash is not preferred but may be handled provided that anyone doing so washes their hands immediately afterwards.
  • Safety posters from BC Centre for Disease Control are displayed next to sink in the kitchen, setting out proper handwashing guidelines (soap and water, 20 seconds washing, and dry hands thoroughly).
  • Window is open for airflow when possible. 

4. Face Touching Avoidance – e.g., avoid touching eyes, mouth, nose

  • Share information about the reason for ‘no face touching’; coronavirus can be spread by touch if a person has used their hand/s to cover a cough or a sneeze.
  • Suggest patients use a tissue if an itch must be addressed.
  • Tissues are available for patient’s use in reception, treatment room, washroom.
  • Masks are used.

5. Enhanced Cleaning

  • Everyone using Santé practices consistent cleaning protocols. 
  • All high-touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected in between patients, regardless of appearance.
  • Linens (including blankets) are single use only, then laundered in hot soapy water.
  • Common areas are frequently cleaned and disinfected and high touch surfaces, at least twice a day, e.g. light switches, window coverings, cell phones, tablets, chairs, stools, table surfaces.
  • Frequently cleaned and disinfected (at least three times per day, more if possible):
    • handles: doors, cabinets, faucets, fridge, microwave, etc.
    • electronic device keyboards and mice, phones,
    • chairs,
    • desk and table surfaces,
    • water cooler.
  • Additional time has been scheduled between patients so as to ensure thorough cleaning of treatment room.
  • Treatment table and table adjustment levers is sanitized after each treatment.
  • Equipment and supplies (table levers, lotion bottles, etc.) are cleaned immediately after each patient.

WASHROOM FOR PATIENT USE

  • All contact areas must be cleaned and disinfected several times a day.

STAIRS TO ACCESS CLINIC

  • All contact areas are be cleaned several times a day
  • Wipes are available.
  • If wipes are unavailable, provide paper towels or tissues for patients to use as a barrier when contacting high-touch surfaces.

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Mask usage is required. 
  • Protective measures such as hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning, and avoidance of face touching are critically important and cannot be relaxed even if masks are worn.
  • Cloth masks available for patient’s use.
  • The practitioner may refuse to treat patients who will not wear a mask provided that (1) this is communicated to the patient in advance of the appointment; and (2) the RMT considers accommodations or provides alternatives for patients who are unable to wear masks.

7. Professional Obligations

  • Practitioners are reminded that if they are exhibiting signs of respiratory illness, including cough, runny nose or fever, they must not provide in-person care and should not be in attendance at clinics or other practice settings where other staff and patients are present.
  • Professional liability insurance:
    • Practitioners in practice are required by CMTBC’s Bylaws to carry professional liability insurance.
    • Practitioners are advised to contact their insurer to determine whether or not they are covered for claims related to COVID-19, e.g. alleged transmission of the virus.
  • No duty or obligation to return to practice:
    •  The Interim Guidelines for Return to Practice should not be interpreted as requiring practitioners to engage in practice if they individually assess the risk of practice as one they are not prepared to take.  
    • The decision to return to practice is a matter of individual judgment and requires that practitioners follow the guidance of their licensing bodies and governmental authorities, including public health authorities.
    • Each regulated Health Professional is bound to their own regulatory body.

Regulated Health professionals (RMTs, TCM Practitioners, etc.) have a professional obligation to obtain informed consent to treatment, consistent with their licensing bodies

  • In the current environment of COVID-19 risk, informed consent requires that the patient is informed that:
    • any treatment involves some risk of COVID-19 transmission;
    • the practitioner is following a protocol to reduce or mitigate risk, but that risk cannot be reduced to zero;
    • the patient consents to treatment despite some risk; and
    • the practitioner documents the patient’s consent.

Open communication

We are committed to ensuring that Santé Holistic Health Centre is as low-risk as possible. The safety of our guests is our top priority. Please feel free to contact us via phone 250 505 4233 or email: santé.holistichealthcentre@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to open a discussion further. If anything comes up for you, please let us know so that we may move forward, safely, together.