May 22, 2020
As the province eases restrictions on surgeries, workplaces and recreational activities we are pleased to announce that starting on June 1, 2020 we will initiate a progressive reopening of clinic services.
In keeping with guidelines from Public Health Ontario and our provincial government, we will move forward with our reopening plan. It is essential that we ensure enhanced procedures and safety protocols to accommodate the increase in patient volume while maintaining the strong clinic safeguards already in place since the pandemic began.
Please remember that you can continue to access care and services at the clinic by:
Appointments with Physicians – All visits will be done via telephone. We ask that you ensure you provide the number that you can be reached at 45 minutes before or after your scheduled appointment time. The incoming call may show Private as our physicians are at times working from outside of the clinic. If you miss the call, your wait time to rebook may be further out than you would like, please ensure that you are ready and available to take the call. If as a result of your telephone consult, your physician determines an in-clinic visit is needed, they will arrange to have an appointment scheduled for you.
Prescription Renewals – Please book an appointment with your provider to renew your prescriptions. If your health is stable and you have no medical concerns, you can also ask your community pharmacist to give you a bridge. Please note that fees without a visit are a temporary reprieve from current policy. Phase two will see the reinstatement of these fees.
Here is what we are doing:
- Continue to be available to patients via the phone and portal. Your patience is appreciated.
- Extending in-person visits by invitation only. If after a virtual visit with your provider, they feel it is necessary to have an in-clinic visit, they will arrange an appointment for you. This will be a gradual progression over the next few months.
- Continuing with telephone/secure video for initial visit. Your physician will address your healthcare concern and assess if an in-person visit is required.
- Managing risk through COVID-19 risk assessment. This has been implemented between staff and providers as well as before each visit with a patient.
- Limiting number of people. We will continue to limit the number of people at each visit. Only the patient, one parent of a minor under 16 and caregiver if required will be allowed at each visit.
- Implementing a universal mask policy. All in person appointments will require the patient to wear a mask. We are asking that if you have a home-made mask to bring that with you to your appointment.
- Limiting wait times in clinic. In order to facilitate physical distancing, we will be asking all patients to wait in their vehicles until their scheduled appointment times. If a cell number was provided, we may call you to advise you of your turn. If you do not have access to a cell phone, you will be requested to wait in your vehicle until any persons at the clinic entrance have passed through, only then, should you approach the clinic.
- Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting. All clinical and public spaces. We ask that patients refrain from touching any surfaces inside the clinic.
- Installing physicial barriers. You will notice the reception area has been outfitted with a physical barrier.
Your help is needed to expand our services safely. We ask:
- Wear a mask or other face-covering to your in-person visit. We continue to experience a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment for our medical and administrative team members.
- Come to your appointment alone. If required, you may be accompanied by one caregiver or one parent where the patient is a minor.
- Comply with all COVID-19 screening. Please work with our staff and Public Health screening guidelines to keep our patients, physicians and health care team safe. You will receive instructions when your appointment is booked.
- Cleanse your hands upon arrival and departure of the clinic. We will request that you refrain from touching any surface within the clinic. You will be escorted to your examination room and again to the door once your appointment is finished.
- Follow signs and directions from staff. Please ensure directions around capacity and physical distancing are followed at all times.
- Don’t wait to address your health care needs. Our clinic remains open and our physicians are here to help you. Emergency rooms are open and ready to treat any emergent medical needs.
Most of our appointments will continue to be by telephone or video for the foreseeable future. We are not offering routine care at this time. While we appreciate you may prefer to see your provider in person, we need to expand in-person visits gradually and with great consideration and responsibility ensuring we follow all guidelines.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada there are 324 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada of which 145 are in Ontario. 1 person has died.
PHAC considers the public health risk associated with with COVID-19 to be low for the general population, but there is an increased risk of more sever outcomes for Canadian who:
-are aged 65 and over
-have compromised immune systems
-have underlying medical conditions
The goal at the moment is to contain the virus and to do that WE NEED YOUR HELP.
To protect other patients, our staff, and our doctors, we ask that you please CALL first and we will provide direction from there.
Due to the inability to screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry into the clinic, the Saturday Walk In Clinics are cancelled until further notice.
Self Assessment Tool – https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-self-assessment
ALERTS – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Updated March 16, 2019
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is actively monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and is in close contact with the World Health Organization and provinces to assess the situation and any potential risk to Canadians. At this time PHAC has assessed the risk as low for Canada and for Canadian travellers.
As with other viruses of this nature, transmission is thought to occur via respiratory droplets.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
If you are experiencing a cough, fever and or shortness of breath and have recently travelled internationally or within Canada at a site where there has been community spread, PHAC asks that you monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada.
If you have these symptoms, please call Telehealth 1-866-797-0000 or Leeds Grenville, Lanark Public Health 613-345-5685.
DO NOT come to the office.
However, as a reminder, Public Health always recommends everyday steps to help prevent the spread of germs and viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS WITH RED AND WHITE HEALTH CARDS
Now is the time to apply for a photo health card!
If you still use a red and white health card, it’s time to easily replace it with the more secure photo health card.
Doing so will help protect Ontario’s health care system against potential fraud. As of July 1, 2020, red and white health cards will no longer be accepted as proof of Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage for insured health services.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Bring the right documents. Bring your red and white health card and three separate documents – one from each of the following categories:
- proof of Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible immigration status, such as a Canadian passport, Canadian birth certificate or permanent resident document
- proof of residency in Ontario, such as a driver’s licence
- proof of identity, such as a credit card or utility bill
- Download, print and complete a Health Card Re-Registration Form
- bring this to a Service Ontario centre
- Visit a Service Ontario centre near you
- you can book an appointment at some Service Ontario centres
If you have a valid address on file, you will receive a letter in the mail asking you to switch to a photo health card. If you get a letter, please follow the instructions in it. All red and white card holders must make the switch before July 1, 2020.
What I need to know about Tick Bites: lyme-disease
Please take note of some important changes:
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, PHONES WILL BE ANSWERED
FROM 8:30AM TO 12 NOON AND FROM 1PM TO 4PM
Patients walking in to book appointments prior to 8:30 am, will be asked to wait until 8:30 to ensure fair access to all patients.
Did you know we offer a Patient Portal?
The Health Myself Portal provides a secure and convenient way for patients and providers to engage online. Ability to book appointments on line and send and receive messages in a controlled environment. Speak with your doctor or one of our staff today to sign up! Additional information can be found at healthmyself.ca
We will be expanding the availability to book on line appointments, so please be sure to sign up if you have not already become enrolled!
Do you need a refill of any of your medications?
Please ask your Doctor during your visit!
Our physicians strongly believe it is important to be seen in person to review the effectiveness of your medication, evaluate the dose and assess for side effects.
It is your responsibility to schedule an appointment prior to running out of medications.
- Make a follow up appointment before you leave the office today.
- If you did not book a follow up appointment, make sure you call to make an appointment 3-4 weeks prior to running out of your medication.
- Bring your current medications or a list from your pharmacy to each appointment.
- Check with your pharmacist before your appointment to determine if you will need renewals.
Thank you for your support as we strive to provide excellent care to you, our patient.