COVID-19 Operational Plan

Updated: June 2, 2020 

 
The health and safety of our staff and client community remains a priority as we gradually resume operations. This Operational Plan outlines the measures and policies implemented by Broadmead and Oak Bay Hearing Clinic to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19 and ensure the healthy well-being of our staff and community. Please note the Audiology department has additional protocols established to adhere to guidelines put forth by the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals. 
 
Please direct questions on this Operational Plan to: 
 
Erin Wright, Au.D, Audiologist and Owner 
 

Staff management

  • Broad mead Hearing Clinic staff have been trained on enhanced protocols required to resume operations.
  • Staff must be symptom-free upon arriving to work each day. Any staff who are not feeling well or have symptoms consistent with a cold, flu, or COVID-19, are required to stay home.
  • Staff who are concerned they have COVID-19 will be asked to contact Health Link BC at 8-1-1 and use the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool.
  • Staff who live with or are caring for someone who is sick or has a confirmed case of COVID-19, are required to stay home.
  • Work schedules (start and finish times / scheduling of clients) have been adjusted to maintain occupancy levels deemed safe for COVID-19 management.
  • Enhanced protocols for proper hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
    • Maintaining physical distancing of 2m or 6 ft with clients and fellow staff members
    • The use of masks, face shields and gloves when interactions are under 2m
    • Adhering to current directives of public health regarding group gatherings and travel restrictions

Visitor and client services management

Effective May 19, 2020, all hearing services will begin being provided to clients who were unable to be seen during the "essential-services only" period.
 
Appointment Bookings:
  • All appointments must be pre-booked.
  • Virtual appointments will be offered as a first choice wherever possible.
  • All live appointments must be pre-booked. Clients will be pre-screened. Only those clients whopass the pre-screening process will be booked.

Pre-screening protocol

  • All clients and visitors must be pre-screened by staff prior to a scheduled appointment/visit.
  • Screening will be carried out by a phone call or email by a member of the staff, prior to their arrival.
  • Screening questions include:
    • Do you have any new cold or flu symptoms in last two weeks?
    • Have you been recently diagnosed with COVID-19?
    • Do you live with anyone who has been ill or been diagnosed with COVID-19?
    • Have you or a member of your household travelled outside of the country recently?

Clients/visitors who answer YES to any of the above will be asked to schedule their appointment to a later date. 

Clients who answer NO to ALL the above questions will be booked for an appointment.

Scheduling of appointments

  • Appointment times will be spaced so there is adequate time between appointments to clean and disinfect the clinic/offices between clients and to reduce the number of people in waiting areas.
  • Start times will also be staggered to ensure the maximum occupancy limit in waiting areas are not exceeded. Overflow waiting areas will be designated in the event an occupancy limit has been exceeded.
  • Visitors will be asked to bring a maximum of one guest to the appointment to ensure proper physical distancing can always be maintained.
  • Clients/visitors will be asked to wear a mask while in the building, if you do not have your own, you will be provided with one upon arrival.
  • Visitors will be pre-confirmed for their appointment and will be advised if they are not feeling well on the day of the appointment, the appointment will be rebooked.

Arriving at Broadmead or Oak Bay Hearing Clinic:

Upon arrival, client/visitors will be screened again. Those who answer YES to any of the screening questions will be asked to reschedule their appointment.
 
  • Client/Visitors will be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival and follow proper hygiene and respiratory etiquette protocols:
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer
    • Keep hands away from face. Do not touch eyes, mouth and nose
    • Cough or sneeze into the elbow or a facial tissue
    • Discard the facial tissue after use
    • No hand shaking or hugging
  • Client/Visitors will be offered a mask if they arrive without wearing one.
  • If a staff member is deaf or hard of hearing, a face shield can be supplied to the client/visitor if the staff member needs to interact under the 2m or 6 ft rule.
  • Clients/Visitors who are ill: Broadmead and Oak Bay Hearing Clinics serve many vulnerable and elderly clients and cannot risk their health by exposing them to someone who may be sick.
  • Client/Visitors who appear ill: will be asked to go home and reschedule their visit or offered a virtual appointment where possible.
  • Clients/Visitors who are non-compliant: Clients/Visitors who are not following BHC clinic protocols will be re-instructed and those who continue to defy public health directives and our protocols will be asked to leave and may be refused future in-house services.
  • Clients/Visitors who appear to be very stressed and anxious due to the pandemic situation will be tended to by staff, referred to appropriate support as needed and provided with helpful resources for mental well-being support: 

During Client/Visitor visit:

  • Staff will maintain physical distance of 2m when working with clients/visitors.
  • If interactions must take place under the 2m rule, personal protective equipment (PPE) will be worn.
  • PPE used: Masks and face shields will be used as part of a larger infection prevention protocol that includes handwashing and physical distancing.
    • Masks will be worn if interactions under the 2m rule is required
    • Face shields will be worn with masks when interactions under 2m are required and if the client/visitor needs to lip-read the staff member. The face shield does not replace the mask, but will serve as an additional barrier of protection if the staff member needs to lower their mask to communicate
    • Gloves will be used if handling hearing aids or client accessories
  • Staff and clients/visitors will follow proper hand hygiene etiquette:
    • Before and after contact
    • After contact with body fluid exposure risk (e.g. wax, sweat)
    • After touching surroundings
    • If using tactile communication, staff will use gloves or wash hands immediately after contact

Site management

Plexiglass barriers have been installed at all reception areas.

Disinfection protocol:

  • Sanitizing wipes or solutions deemed effective for COVID-19 management will be used
  • High use touch points will be cleaned at least twice per day, every business day. These high use areas include:
    • Entry door handles
    • Bathroom door handles
    • Office door handles that are touched by visitors
    • Waiting room chairs
  • Hand sanitizers will be placed at every reception area and in any office where visitors will be seen.
  • Where possible, doors will be kept open to ensure proper ventilation and to reduce touching of door handles.

Communication:

Clients/Visitors will be advised of Broadmead Hearing protocols:
  • On our website.
  • Prior to their visit through audio/video call or email
  • During their visit through staff instructions and signage.

Regular review of the Operations Plan

  1. This operations plan will be regularly reviewed, and a risk assessment of Broadmead Hearing Clinic operations will be conducted monthly and/or more frequently to ensure protocols are consistent with the most current public health guidelines.
  2. All staff and clients/visitors entering Broadmead Hearing Clinic must be clear on how to keep themselves safe while in the clinic.
  3. Staff will be trained on safe occupancy limits, effective hygiene practices and what to do if a staff member or visitor falls ill.
  4. Incident management:
  • In the event a staff or recent client/visitor is tested positive for COVID, the incident will be reported to the executive management immediately.
  • The staff/visitor will be reminded to self-isolate and follow protocols provided to them by their health care provider.
  • Following advice from public health officials, our staff will assist with any contact tracing investigations.
  • The confidentiality of ill staff/visitor must be maintained. Any restorative actions undertaken by Broadmead Hearing Clinic will be on the advice of public health officials.
  • High level cleaning:
    • All areas of where infected staff/visitor touched will be immediately disinfected
    • Depending on level of cleaning required, building may be required to shut down operations for a day or more so that proper maintenance by staff and janitorial crew can be undertaken
  • Following an incident, protocols will be reviewed and revised if necessary to mitigate future risk exposure other staff/visitors in the building.
  • Incident will be documented by relevant personnel.