Managing through change:What to consider as you resume provision of care in the community during COVID-19
As provinces look to start relaxing strict measures due to COVID-19, solo practitioners owners need to think about what’s next and how they will adapt and move forward safely and sustainably as they begin to resume in-person care.
One thing is true across the board, everyone will face tremendous challenges as our nation begins the path to recovery, while still facing the public health threat of the virus.
Even after resuming provision of care in the community, patients/clients may be wary about being in an enclosed space with other individuals, regardless of the health and safety protocols in place.
In this article, we’ll walk you through a few resources that are available for you as you resume provision of care.
While your exact reopening strategy will depend on your province and work settings, you can use these resources as a starting point to help you plan and prepare for the “new normal.”
There’s a lot of information out there about COVID-19. As a regulated professional, it is important to focus on the most reputable, reliable sources to find the right guidance for your practice.
Federal and Public Health Guidelines resources:
Health professionals in Canada have a critical role to play in identifying, reporting and managing potential cases of COVID-19.
The fedearal goverment and Health Canada have created a series of guidelines and resources worth reviewing.
BC Centers for Disease Control, has become one of the most widely referenced resources on COVID-19. Aside from general public health guidelines for reducing the spread of the virus, the BCCDC has also created several dedicated resources providing coronavirus guidance for health care workers and how to prepare for the effects of the pandemic.
WorksafeBC provides resources on occupational health and safety exposure control plans to ensure a safe work environment for staff members.
In Manitoba, CDC’s website offers resources on how to prevent and prepare as services to the public resume safely.
Regulatory body resources:
Regulatory bodies such as the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals has created resources and guidelines to assist our community of solo practitioners, put in place the required Infection and Prevention Control measures applicable to the practice environment, including PPE use and environmental cleaning best practices.
Additionally, the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, has also created a series of resources for their registrants that provide great guidance on how to protect the public and what Standards of Practice need to be considered during these unique times.
We encourage our community of solo practitioners to connect directly with their regulator to learn more.
Following are 6 key recommendations to consider, when resuming provision of care in the community:
1. Implement robust policies, procedures and organizational protocols that ensure that no one (employees or contractors) associated with your private practice attend work when they have symptoms of illness.
2. Implement guidance for self-isolation and support for yourself and any contractors when necessary.
3. Implement COVID-19 screening practices for your clients prior to the provision of care. BC’s Ministry of Health has created a simple, but effective screening tool, that you can have as a reference for your own practice. Our platform, through our Dynamic Forms feature, offers you the opportunity to create your own COVID-19 screening tool template. You can even send it via email in advance of your visit. To learn more about our Dynamic forms, please click here.
4. If patient screening reveals the clients may be at risk of COVID-19, make sure clients are referred to a COVID-19 testing centre and defer treatment until signs and symptoms have resolved.
5. If some of your services can be safely and effectively provided virtually, this is encouraged by health officials. Our platform has just launched a beta version of our tele health service for you to use. All you need to do is assign a service to be delivered online.
6. Finally, in-person services must only proceed when the anticipated benefits of such services outweigh the risks to the client and the care provided. Remember that as self-regulated professionals, nurses are accountable to provide clear, honest, and transparent communication regarding their policies and procedures related to COVID-19.
CompanyOn encourages our community of practitioners to take the time required to review all guidelines and resources provided by their regulatory body, the Ministry of Health and public health authorities and implement the necessary policies and protocols to your community practice to ensure safe practice. We are proud to offer tools that are beneficial to your practice in times like these.
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