Patient Care is Still Our Priority
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made some changes to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.
We have put new practices in place for in-clinic visits! Spaced scheduling, sanitation between visits, protective gear, frequent hand-washing and health monitoring are just many of the steps we are taking. For all the details, feel free to read the Infection and Control Guidance below.
- We strongly recommend making an appointment for all services except pick-up of supplies.
- If you are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms - please stay home and self-isolate.
- We are back to regular hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Covid-19: Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Campbell River Hearing Clinic
This document provides interim guidance for the prevention and control of COVID-19 for Campbell River Hearing Clinic. It is based on the latest available best practice and scientific evidence provided by BC Ministry of Health. The guidance may change as new information becomes available. This guidance was adopted in part from BC CDC.
COVID-19 is most commonly transmitted through large droplets produced when a person infected with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes. The virus in these droplets can enter through the eyes, nose or mouth of another person if they are in close contact with the person who coughed or sneezed. The virus can also enter a person’s body from touching something with the virus on it and then touching one’s eyes, mouth or nose with unwashed hands.
Infection Prevention and Exposure Control Measures
By implementing a combination of measures at the following four levels, the risk of COVID-19 is substantially reduced. The four levels are:
- Environmental Measures - physical changes in the setting that reduce risk of exposure by isolation or ventilation. Examples include having suitable ventilation and air exchange, using visual cues for maintaining physical distance, erecting physical barriers where appropriate, and frequent cleaning and disinfection of work and living spaces.
- Administrative Measures - measures enabled through the implementation of policies, procedures, training and education. Examples of these include decreased density of patients in clinics, staggered appointments and by offering curb side service or using virtual health where appropriate.
- Personal Measures - actions individuals can take to both protect themselves, as well as to prevent the spread to others. Examples include washing your hands frequently, coughing into your elbow and staying home from work if you are sick.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - the last and least effective of the infection prevention and exposure control measures and should only be considered after exploring all other measures. PPE is not effective as a stand-alone preventive measure. PPE must be suited to the task and must be worn and disposed of properly.
Cleaning and Disinfection
- Cleaning all the high touch surfaces frequently.
- Staff washing hands or using hand sanitizer before and after handling any object that was brought by client into the clinic.
- Every hearing aid is first cleaned and sanitized. All tools that are used to work with hearing aids from one client are cleaned before they are put away, so they are clean before hearing aids from a different client are brought to the working area. (Set up tools in a new place - as you use tools do not place tools back in the new place until they are cleaned.)
- The lab area is cleaned after every use.
- Offices are aired out regularly by opening windows or doors.
Physical Changes to the Clinic
- Shared equipment is cleaned between clients.
- Frequently-touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day. These include equipment, door knobs, switches, telephones, keyboards, pens, sinks, faucets etc.
- Using common commercially available detergents and disinfectant products, following the instructions on the label.
- Providing alcohol based hand sanitizer with minimum 70% alcohol at all rooms in the clinic.
- Relevant signage posted on the entry door and in appropriate areas in the clinic.
- Regular air circulation and air exchange throughout the day in the exam rooms and reception area.
- Plexiglass barriers are installed in the reception and the exam rooms.
- No magazine, newspapers or information leaflets will be available in common areas.
Physical Distancing and Minimizing Physical Contact
- Reducing the number of people in waiting room - clients are taken directly to treatment room.
- Appointment need to be booked for all services - walk-in only for supplies.
- Appointments to be scheduled so that there is no overlap of waiting patients.
- Intervals between appointments are scheduled to allow equipment and surfaces to be cleaned.
- Appointment lengths are adjusted for the content of appointment.
Triage Clients For Appointments On the Phone
- Do you or anyone in your household have coronavirus?
- Do you have a new, continuous cough?
- Do you have a high temperature (37.8 C or higher)?
- Does anyone in your household have a new, continuous cough or a high temperature?
If they answer yes to any of the above questions, ask: Advise the patient they should self-isolate and follow the BCCDC COVID-19 advice. Advise them to contact us for service once recovered or if their need increases.
Consideration for Older Clients or those with Chronic Illnesses
- If an appointment is required for an older client or client with a chronic illness, scheduling these appointments as the first appointments of the day is recommended.
Stay at Home When Sick
- Staff must assess themselves daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, or COVID-19 prior to entering the clinic.
- All staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 OR were identified as a close contact of a confirmed case must stay home and self-isolate.
- Those unsure of if they should self-isolate are directed to the BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool.
- If concerned, they can be advised to contact 811 or the local public health unit.
Rigorous hand hygiene with plain soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is the most effective way to reduce the spread of illness. Both staff and patients/clients can pick up and spread germs easily, from objects, surfaces, food and people. Everyone should practice diligent hand hygiene.
How to practice diligent hand hygiene:
- Wash hands with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Antibacterial soap is not needed for COVID-19.
- If sinks are not available, use alcohol-based hand rub containing at least 70% alcohol.
- If hands are visibly soiled, alcohol-based hand rub may not be effective at eliminating respiratory
- viruses. Soap and water are preferred when hands are visibly dirty.
- To learn about how to perform hand hygiene, please refer to the BCCDC’s hand hygiene poster.
Strategies to ensure diligent hand hygiene:
- Hand hygiene stations should be set up at the clinic entrance, so everyone can perform hand hygiene when they enter.
- Ensure hand washing supplies are well stocked at all times including plain soap, paper towels and where appropriate, alcohol-based hand rub with a minimum of 70% alcohol.
- Put up posters to promote the importance of regular hand hygiene.
- Paper towels should be disposed of in non-touch waste-baskets lined with a garbage bag.
For patients/clients and staff, hand hygiene should be performed:
- On entering the clinic;
- On entering the examination/procedure room;
- On leaving the examination/procedure room;
- After using the washroom;
- After using a tissue for their face; and
- After coughing or sneezing.
For staff, including health care providers, hand hygiene must also be performed:
- Before and after contact with patient or the patient care environment;
- Before and after breaks;
- Before donning PPE; and
- In between each step when doffing PPE.
Patients and staff should:
- Cough or sneeze into their elbow sleeve or a tissue;
- Throw away used tissues and immediately perform hand hygiene;
- Refrain from touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; and
- Refrain from sharing any food, drinks, unwashed utensils.
Personal Protective Equipment
Where there is low incidence and prevalence of COVID-19, additional PPE over and above that required for normal precautions is not required.
Point-of-care risk assessment (PCRA) for COVID-19
Prior to any patient interaction, all health care providers have a responsibility to assess the infectious risks posed to themselves, other health care workers, other patients and visitors from a patient, situation or procedure. The PCRA is based on the health care provider’s professional judgment about the clinical situation, as well as up-to-date information on how the specific health care facility has designed and implemented physical (engineering) and administrative controls, and the use and availability of PPE.
Performing a PCRA to determine whether PPE is necessary is also important to avoid over-reliance on PPE, misuse or waste. Over-reliance on PPE may result in a false sense of security. Incorrect use and doffing of PPE can expose clinicians and staff to infectious agents and contaminate the environment.
Always follow routine practices and conduct a PCRA prior to any patient interaction.
- Health care providers and staff who have direct contact with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 must follow droplet and contact precautions. This includes wearing a surgical/procedure mask, eye protection, gloves and gown.
- PPE is not required for hearing care workers who work more than 2 meters from patients at all times.
When wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
- Avoid touching your mask or eye protection unnecessarily. If you must touch or adjust your mask or eye protection, perform hand hygiene immediately.
- Wash or sanitize hands prior and post contact - see proper hand hygiene poster.
- Clinician will use surgical mask if coming closer than 2 meters - see proper use of mask poster.
- At the clinicians discretion - client might be asked to use a mask.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidance for Patients:
- Patients presenting in-person to clinic with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should be given a surgical/procedure mask, if available and medically tolerated.
Consent and Record Keeping
At all times accurate records of joint decision making, consent and outcomes is documented. Records kept during this time will be clearly marked with COVID-19.
For your convenience, we included the important links with information relating to the Covid-19 updates below. We encourage you to follow the guidelines by the government of Canada and the BC CDC to keep yourself informed and safe.
Thank you for your cooperation and please stay safe.
Official COVID-19 Resources: