Guidelines & Protocols FOR Re OpENING:
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 Registered Massage Therapists working at Willingdon Heights Massage Therapy 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-19 related policies and procedures. Our booking site has been updated to also reflect basic policies and procedures.
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 staff are required to use the Self-Screening Tool prior to booking or attending an appointment. Prior to the first visit, a screening email will be sent out and needs to be returned within 24 hours or your APPOINTMENT WILL BE CANCELLED.
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 sick within 14 days or even 48 hours before your appointment, please call us to reschedule as we would like you to be fully recovered before coming to our office. We wish to keep everyone safe and thank you in advance for helping us all to stop the spread.
As required by the CMTBC, the day before your appointment you will be contacted to confirm you Do Not have symptoms. You will receive a MANDATORY COVID 19 Self -Assessment form that has to be filled out to receive Massage Therapy
DO NOT come to the clinic if you have Travelled outside of BC in past 14 days
24 hours prior to each appointment at the clinic, a COVID-19 screening email will be sent to you and needs to be filled in digitally and returned prior to your appointment. If you do not fill in this form prior to your appointment your therapist will contact you, to confirm you are asymptotic and you will be required to go through this form at the time of the treatment. This will unfortunately cut into your treatment time so please fill this in before your treatment. This is a requirement of the College of Massage therapy of British Columbia (CMTBC) and RMTs have been advised that they are unable to treat patients that have not done this self-assessment.
On your first visit back, an informed consent and screening questions must be filled out in front of your RMT. Subsequent in office visits will be screened verbally.
WHAT IF YOU DO 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- like symptoms they will cancel all appointments and will not come to the clinic.
ANYONE exhibiting symptoms will be asked to leave the clinic.
CONSENTS AND WAIVERS
Patients are required to sign a new consent to treatment form at their first appointment back. This is to ensure that you are fully aware of the risk of treatments 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 prior to the initial visit and on the initial appointment in front of the RMT. If you have any concerns pertaining to the risks of obtaining treatment due to the inability to socially / physically distance during a manual treatment, we request that you refrain from treatment at this time.
USE OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
We would like to remind our patients that our RMTs are trained Healthcare Professionals in the use of PPE. All our staff that come within 6 feet or 2 meters of patients will be wearing a mask. As we are unable to social distance during a massage therapy treatment, patients are required to wear a mask as well and are encouraged to bring their own. However, if you do not have a mask of your own, one will be provided for you.
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.
Strict hand hygiene protocols will be upheld with 2 sinks available for hand washing with soap and water as well as touchless hand sanitizer pumps at the front of the clinic and in each treatment room. Anyone entering the clinic 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 installed touch-less faucets and we have touch-less hand soap dispensers for your convenience. There are also hand towels by the door to use on the door handle after using the washroom that can be discarded in the bin outside the bathroom door.
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 in the reduction of 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.
RECEPTION AND WAITING AREA
HAND HYGIENE PROTOCOLS AND AVOIDANCE OF FACE TOUCHING
Patients are required to wash their hands immediately upon entering the clinic 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 Willingdon Heights Massage Therapy 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, handling laundry, after using the washroom and regularly throughout the day. The RMTs will adhere to the hand washing protocols as outlined by our regulatory body, the BCCDC, WHO and the government.
We have touchless hand sanitizer pumps available at the clinic and we require all patients to wash their hands when entering and leaving the clinic for a minimum of 20 seconds as per the guidelines set out by the CDC, WHO and BC PHO.
Hand sanitizer in available in each treatment room and we encourage all patients to use the hand sanitizer after touching any surfaces. 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.
Your appointment time includes any outstanding forms, confirmation of COVID-19 Screening Assessment, treatment assessment, treatment, charting and payment. 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.
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. This allows for proper sanitization / disinfecting of the treatment room and various areas in the clinic as well as following social / physical distancing protocols. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in keeping things safe for everyone and for allowing us to continue to serve you!
HOW TRAVELLING AFFECTS YOUR APPOINTMENTS
If you have been outside of the province of BC, 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 province until 14 days after they have arrived home. If you have been outside of the province or 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 any Willingdon Heights Massage Therapy staff are travelling outside of the country, we will also follow the federal guidelines and self- isolate for 14 days prior to returning to work.
SANITIZATION / DISINFECTING
We will continue to adhere to strict standards set out by our regulatory body the CMTBC, RMTBC, WCB, The BC PHO and Fraser Health pertaining to health, safety and cleanliness. All RMTs 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.
Linens, blankets, pillowcases and any other table covering will be washed in hot soapy water after each single use.
Thermophores are no longer allowed; however, we have table warmers underneath a vinyl table protector that can be turned on if you get cold. The vinyl table protector will be sanitized / disinfected after each treatment.
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 handles, light switches, faucets, computer keyboards and screens, phone etc.)
We have always been paperless, 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.
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 and RMTBC. Thank you for your understanding and patience during these unprecedented times.
Be kind, Be calm, Be safe
– Dr. Bonnie Henry