204-2825 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford, British Columbia V2T 6S3 Canada

604-852-7100

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Family Orientated Wellness Clinic in Abbotsford

Clinic Protocols

Should you have any questions regarding any of this, please reach out to our Customer Care Liaisons.

The following are the REQUIRED protocols provided by CMTBC as to how the clinic should operate day-to-day upon our reopen date of June 2nd. Some of these have been upgraded to meet our clinic’s standards as we will be taking additional measures to ensure the safety of everyone in the clinic. 


1. Self-assess for symptoms and return when healthy: For patients, RMTs, and clinic staff

PRE-SCREENING – PRIOR TO ARRIVAL

  • Patients are required to complete the COVID-19 Screening Intake and any other Intakes prior to arrival via our Online Forms through Jane App.
  • There will no longer be any Intakes Forms filled out in the office. Any incomplete intake forms will forfeit the patient’s appointment. In this occurrence, the patient will be required to pay the full amount for their treatment.
  • It is at the RMT’s discretion to include screening questions for patients’ contacts, e.g., has the patient isolated within a restricted “bubble” and if so, for how long? Has he or she had extensive contact with individuals outside his/her immediate family, pod, or unit (other than service workers at grocery stores, banks, other)? Is the patient aware of anyone in their contacts who has COVID-19 symptoms? The RMT should be prepared to share this information about themselves, as well.
  • If this extended screening measure is preferred for a practitioner, please inform the front desk staff as this will help us schedule patients accordingly, and sift through patients that you may not feel comfortable treating right away.

SCREENING UPON ARRIVAL

  • Upon arrival, both patients and practitioners will be required to have their temperature taken with a temperature gun. Anyone above 38 degrees celsius will not be permitted treatment. Understanding that not every positive case of Covid-19 has a fever, this is still a precaution we would like to take. 
  • The RMT and patient should run through self-assessment outcomes again – confirm safety and trust in moving forward.
  • The RMT should cancel treatment if the patient doesn’t meet the pre-screening criteria on physical presentation at the practice environment (patients will be required to wear masks). This will also include answering yes to questions pertaining to flu-like symptoms, most notably: coughing, fever, difficulty smelling (without nasal congestion), and travel within the last 14 days.
  • Pre- and during clinic visit: Ensure each 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”, assess necessary precautions on arrival when RMT sees the patient’s presentation.

2. Physical Distancing

RECEPTION / ENTRY

  • Staff, RMT and patients must maintain 2 metres / 6 feet of distance in clinic areas other than the treatment room, as best as possible within the practice setting. Tape will be placed to help everyone observe distance.
  • Remove all clutter, fabric furnishings and decorations that cannot be sanitized after touch.
  • Reduced traffic through staggered appointment start- and end- times. 
  • Patient must arrive unaccompanied unless the patient is a minor who requires parent/guardian, or infirm and needs assistance (see recommended protocol below).
  • Patients are required to wait outside if early to appointment. 
  • After building hours 10:00am to 4:00pm– call or text when it’s time to enter, Customer Care Liaison will be down to retrieve the patient.
  • Office door will be left open for easy entry to the clinic.
  • Patients will be asked to wash their hands on arrival.
  • After washing their hands we will provide them a disposable mask and take their temperature with a touchless thermometer.

RECEPTION / DEPARTURE

  • We are requesting booking appointments over the phone or online (when online becomes available) to reduce the amount of time spent in the clinic.
  • We will be encouraging patients to keep a card on file to pay for treatment, those who need the POS machine we are asking that they respect the plexiglass when doing so. Cash or Cheque will not be accepted until further notice.
  • Invoices will be emailed. If email is not an option for the patient only then will we print an invoice.

TREATMENT ROOM

  • Please try to only use the sink provided in your rooms to wash your hands, and at the end of your shift please sanitize the sinks as well.

THERAPISTS’ SHARED AREAS, multi-practitioner setting, e.g., kitchen, lockers, charting stations

  • Have separate, distanced workstations; or require therapists to use personal devices to access scheduling and accounting programs. 
  • Personal effects will go into designated areas for each Practitioner.
  • 1 person in the lunchroom at a time.
  • Avoid face-to-face socialization within the practice environment.
  • Do not use shared clinic devices (computers, tablets, phones). Please be prepared with your own devices.
  • Reception desk is the Customer Care Liaison domain, do not enter. Please speak to the Liaison from designated tape areas.

3. Hygiene

RECEPTION / ENTRY

  • Patients & staff must wash hands upon entry with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, followed by thorough drying. Staff will do this often, as per usual in between patients/physical contact as well.
  • Hand-washing protocol posters will be posted in the reception area and the bathrooms that are designated for both office staff and patients.
  • A disposable mask will be provided to each patient with the exception of patients under 4 where a mask is a choking hazard. Each patient is expected to wear the mask to comply with Clinic protocols. We reserve the right to refuse treatment to anyone who refuses to wear a mask.
  • Washable cloth masks will be provided for staff.
  • Practitioners will be asked to bring a separate change of clothes to change into for work that can be washed in the clinic washer/drier at the end of the day.

IN THE TREATMENT ROOM

  • Practitioners are encouraged to try and minimize the amount of surfaces each patient may touch in the room. 
  • Ex. RMT opens the door to the treatment room and allows patients to enter; RMT opens/closes the door before, during, and after treatment as required, 
  • Hand washing should occur before and after treatment (both RMT and patient).
  • Posters for proper hand washing, sanitization procedures and laundry procedures will be posted in each treatment room.
  • Patients should be able to see/hear RMT washing and drying hands before and after treatment. 
  • Rooms without sinks are temporarily closed. If we open them back up RMT must sanitize hands and confirm verbally that hands were washed before and after treatment, to maintain trust.
  • Tissues must be available for patient’s use in reception, treatment room, washroom.
  • RMT makes use of a hand towel or tissue to touch or scratch face, or to sneeze into.
  • If RMT is accustomed to sweating during her or his work, a head band should be used, or a hand towel should be available to wipe the forehead and face as required to avoid sweat from dripping into eyes necessitating touch.
  • Posters will be posted in each room for expected sanitization procedures and laundry procedures.
  • 15minute mandatory break in between each patient in order to re-sanitize the treatment room.
  • Use provided sanitization materials to wipe down the entirety of the massage tables, the personal belongings bin, doorknobs, and any other surfaces in the room that yourself or your patient came into contact with.
  • Do not let patients dispose of their masks within the room​, there will be a specific designated bin in the front of the office for this. This also applies to any gloves or other disposable protective gear you may choose to wear during treatment.
  • Laundry will be cleaned & re-distributed by front desk staff after every patient.
  • To avoid too many hands on the clean laundry, they will provide a “kit” for you that includes fresh sheets, pillowcase, blanket, etc. for every new patient.
  • Instructing patients to wash their hands again, after leaving the treatment room.

WASHROOM FOR PATIENT USE

  • Clear instructions regarding washroom will be laid out in COVID-19 Screening Intake.
  • Posters with instructions will also be posted within the clinic.

ELEVATORS/STAIRS/OTHER, IF USED TO ACCESS CLINIC

  • Clear instructions regarding Elevators/stairs will be laid out in COVID-19 Screening Intake.

SHOWERS

  • Practitioners may choose to use the staff shower upon arrival or before departure.
  • A sign up sheet will be posted for shower availability.
  • Practitioners must sanitize the shower after use by following Shower Cleaning Poster protocol.

4. Enhanced Cleaning

  • Training for therapists and staff in new clinic protocols including sanitization.
  • Visibly soiled surfaces will be cleaned, followed by disinfection.
  • All high-touch surfaces will be disinfected in-between patients, regardless of appearance.
  • Common areas will be frequently cleaned and disinfected as well as high touch surfaces, at least twice a day, e.g. light switches, window coverings, cell phones, tablets, chairs, stools, table surfaces.
  • Disinfected after each use: 
    • handles: doors, cabinets, faucets, fridge, microwave, etc.
    • electronic device keyboards and mice, phones,
    • arm rests of chairs,desk and table surfaces, cleaned in view of patients so patients see the steps taken for safety.
  • Scheduling of additional time between patients to thoroughly clean the treatment room (30 minutes).
  • Sanitize the treatment table and table adjustment levers after each treatment.
  • Cleaning the face cradle (one more time) and in front of the patient, to maintain trust.
  • Cleaning the equipment and supplies (table levers, lotion bottles, etc.) immediately after each patient.
  • Cleaning and Disinfectants for Clinic Settings poster from the BC Centre for Disease Control will be visible in the reception area, washroom for patient use, and treatment room.

WASHROOM FOR PATIENT USE

  • All contact areas will be cleaned and disinfected several times a day. Soap will be available for hand washing, clean material for drying, and wipes (or paper towels, tissues) are available for doors and touch-surfaces.
  • Bathrooms will be cleaned every hour or after every use if possible

ELEVATORS/STAIRS/OTHER IF USED TO ACCESS CLINIC

  • All contact areas will be cleaned several times a day, e.g. doors, elevator buttons.
  • Wipes will be provided if available to us.
  • If wipes are unavailable, paper towels or tissues will be provided for patients to use as a barrier when contacting high-touch surfaces.
  • A schedule of cleaning and disinfection routine (area, last completed, initials) will be posted.
  • In a low-risk environment created by pre-screening of RMTs’ and patients’ health, supported by good hand hygiene and cleaning protocols, there is minimal evidence that aerosolization of the virus increases the rate of transmission. Therefore, use of an air purifier / filter is at the RMT’s personal preference and discretion. 

5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Disposable (surgical) masks available for patient’s use and for RMT’s use. Cloth masks must be laundered after each use.
  • Exceptions to masks are children under 4 as a possible choking hazard.
  • 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).
  • Practitioners will have gloves, protective goggles and other commercially available PPE items available if the patient requests their use, or if RMT chooses to use PPE.
  • Practitioners may choose to wear scrubs or everyday clothing as clinic attire however Practitioners must change into clinic attire upon arrival.
  • Practitioners may choose to wear an apron at their discretion.

6. Professional Obligations (unedited from CMTBC)

  • RMTs returning to practice at multiple locations, including mobile, must be particularly conscientious about others’ safety protocols while also maintaining their own protocol.
  • Professional liability insurance:
    • RMTs in practice are required by CMTBC’s Bylaws to carry professional liability insurance.
    • The coverage terms of policies can vary.
    • RMTs 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:
    • A return to practice protocol does not require RMTs 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 following the guidance of CMTBC and governmental authorities
    • RMTs are bound by their obligation and duty to CMTBC, their regulatory body as a health professional, irrespective of employment agreements.
  • Patient alleges they caught COVID-19 from RMT:
    • The RMT must immediately call public health at 8-1-1 and report the alleged transmission, providing both the RMT’s name and the name and contact information of the patient.
    • The RMT must not provide any further massage therapy treatment to anyone until public health has investigated and has provided direction.
    • The RMT must immediately self-isolate until the matter has been investigated and public health direction has been provided.
    • If the RMT is working in a team setting, it is the RMT’s duty to immediately inform his or her colleagues of transmission risk.
  • What about asymptomatic spreaders?
    • This is an unavoidable risk of practice until there is either an effective treatment or an effective vaccine against COVID-19. 
    • RMTs’ return to practice protocol has elements that mitigate risk:
      • screening – An RMT can screen not only for symptoms, but for contacts, e.g., has the patient isolated within a restricted “bubble”, and if so for how long? Has he or she had extensive contact with individuals outside his/her immediate family, pod or unit (other than service workers at grocery stores, banks, other)? Is the patient aware of anyone in their contacts who has COVID-19 symptoms? The RMT should be prepared to share this information about themselves, as well.
      • related is the question of trust – how well does the RMT know the patient – and trust the patient to have been prudent and cautious?  Ethical practice requires that RMTs honour patients’ trust in their RMT – the trust relationship goes both ways. 
      • cloth masks reduce transmission risk by discouraging face-touching;
      • very strict adherence to hand hygiene, by RMT and by patient
    • The risk remains which is why the informed consent discussion at the outset of treatment is critically important.
  • Can an RMT limit their liability for potential COVID-19 transmission by having the patient sign a waiver?
    • This is a legal question and CMTBC does not provide legal advice to registrants. 
    • RMTs have a professional obligation to obtain informed consent to treatment, consistent with CMTBC’s Consent Standard of Practice.
    • In the current environment of COVID-19 risk, informed consent requires that the patient is informed that:
      • any massage therapy treatment involves some risk of COVID-19 transmission;
      • the RMT 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 RMT documents the patient’s consent.
    • This is not a new requirement, but the appropriate negotiation of consent is significant in the context of COVID-19. Proper adherence to consent procedures may have also have the incidental effect of reducing the chances for RMT liability, although that is not their purpose.
  • RMTs practicing in “Phase 3” environments, e.g. spas:
    • RMTs may resume practice during Phase 2 by following the above protocol, provided that no other activities take place in violation of the government’s Restart guidelines (PDF). This means that RMTs may be the only ones practicing in that setting for a period of time.