Good News to Share: A Slow Re-Opening
May 28, 2020
To our beloved patients and future patients, we have some really good news. You may have heard that medical procedures have been included as part of Ontario’s phase 1 re-opening plan. As of May 28th, we are gradually beginning to perform surgery again. It won’t be business as usual… not for our patients and not for our staff. But we know this will come as a huge relief to so many of you who have been waiting anxiously to undergo operations or to come for an in-person consultation. And if you’d still prefer to stay home for now, we can do consultations virtually to make that work.
We are incredibly invested in keeping our numbers of COVID-19 cases low here in Ontario. We’re ensuring we do everything to keep you and our staff safe. To learn about the new protocols we’ve introduced to ensure that, read on below. If you are eager to book an appointment or surgery, know that we will do our absolute best to accommodate you as quickly as possible. Our first priority is re-booking patients who were supposed to have their surgeries in March, April and May. To continue limiting the spread of COVID-19, we can’t function at the same capacity as we did before, but we’ll be opening up new consult and surgery time to make sure we can fit everyone in ASAP.
We’re so thrilled to be able to take care of you all once again. Although we’re technically allowed to offer non-surgical services again, we’re starting slowly. Like we said, our first priority is keeping you safe, and we want to ensure that we have all of the best safety measures and protocols in place. We’ll bring the non-surgical services back when we know we can do that with confidence. You’ll be the first to know when appointments for botox are open!
Life at the clinic is going to look different. Here’s how:
Virtual/Remote Waiting Rooms
Before your surgery or consult, you won’t enter the clinic right away. Instead, you’ll be directed to call us when you arrive on site and wait in your car. On that first phone call, we’ll go over a lengthy questionnaire with you to screen for your potential exposure to, or symptoms of, the virus.
New Entry Protocol
Once we’re ready for you, we’ll call you in. We ask that you please enter the building alone. You’ll be required to wear a mask to enter the clinic. If you can bring your own mask, great. If you don’t have one, we can provide one for you. We’ll take your temperature at the door, and require you to sanitize your hands prior to entering the clinic.
Strict Physical Distancing in Place
We’ll be adhering to strict physical distancing measures in all interactions. Our staff is limited to ensure they have adequate distance between each other. Of course, physical distancing is not possible during your actual surgery, in which case all of our staff will be in full PPE. This protects you and it protects us. If you’re having a consultation, you’ll leave by the back door, so we never have patients and/or staff passing each other in the halls.
Cleanliness and Sterilization
As an Independent Health Facility we already adhere to the highest standard of cleanliness of any kind of private medical facility. That baseline standard is more rigorous than most medical facilities, but we’re taking that to the next level. We already have state of the art HEPA filtration attached to our HVAC system, but we’re adding a Surgically Clean Air filter to sterilize the air in our operating system.
Our staff will be sterilizing or washing their hands every time they interact with one another, or a patient. If they don’t interact with anyone for an hour, they will sterilize/wash on the hour. The same goes for contact surfaces. Though fomites are no longer considered to be a significant factor for spread of the virus, we’re taking every precaution and keeping surfaces clinically clean.
Staff Monitoring & Testing
Staff will also be screened daily before entering the clinic. If staff report even the mildest of symptoms – a headache or a sniffle – they will be sent home and asked to obtain a test for the virus.
We can’t wait to see you back in clinic. Trust that we wouldn’t re-open if we (and the province) weren’t certain that it was totally safe to do so. Making your dreams come true is our absolute highest calling. Let’s get to work!
Advance Patient Testing
In preparation for your surgery, you will be required to go to a Covid-19 Testing centre five business days before your procedure. We’ll provide you with a link to help you find one near you. After you have been tested you will need to self-isolate until your surgery day. That means you’ll need to stay home, meaning no grocery shopping, no walks, no contact with anyone outside of the members of your household.
We’ll also show you how to find your test results online. This is important because you will need to provide your surgical co-ordinator with a screen shot with the results of your test prior to your surgery day. We appreciate your co-operation with this so much. It’s another way we can help ensure the safety of you, our staff and our patients.