As of June 1, PoNS Treatment™ clinicians and healthcare professionals are excited to announce their provincial Ministries of Health have permitted a gradual and safe return to work for all healthcare practitioners. They are all trained to work with patients suffering from balance deficit due to mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (mmTBI) and those suffering from gait deficit due to symptoms from multiple sclerosis (MS). While Authorized PoNS Treatment™ Clinics have remained active over the past few months with telehealth consultations, they have certainly missed interacting with patients in-person and watching as they make significant strides in addressing their balance and gait deficits.
The 17 authorized clinics locations across Canada actively prepared for reopening, implementing all of the necessary safety precautions and protocols to ensure appropriate infection control, personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, hygiene and physical distancing measures. Through these necessary enhancements, they are effectively mitigating the risk of COVID-19 transmission and protecting their patients, clinicians and support staff from potential exposure.
If you are an existing client, your authorized clinic will be communicating this information to you in order to resume in-person treatments if they have not already. New clients can schedule free phone consultations with the various authorized clinics across Canada. Screening will take place over the phone, with follow-up appointments to be booked accordingly.
Here is a more thorough breakdown of the safety precautions Authorized PoNS Treatment™ Clinics are taking:
Disclaimer: Individual clinic operations may vary. Check with the clinic near you for specific details on its reopening policies and procedures.
Before each appointment, clinic staff will be screening patients over the phone/via email to ensure they have not been exposed to COVID-19. Patients and staff planning to enter the facility will be asked a series of questions, either at their vehicles or outside the clinic, related to their recent travel, who they have been in contact with or whether they have exhibited any symptoms typically associated with COVID-19.
Once they enter the facility, another screening process will occur, where they will be required to review the questions yet again before entering private treatment rooms. If an individual answers “yes” to any of the questions, that person will be asked to leave the facility and self-isolate for 14 days. Clinic staff will also report the information to Ontario Public Health as per provincial guidelines.
Source: Propel Physiotherapy
Authorized clinics have taken extreme precaution to enforce physical distancing measures. Appointments are appropriately scheduled to ensure patients and staff can easily maintain a two metre distance between each other while at the clinics. Clinic facilities have also been rearranged to promote physical distancing. This includes furniture removal/relocation, floor markers, spacing out of exercise equipment, removal of communal objects and traffic flow management. They have also limited the number of people allowed in the clinics at one time based on the size of each facility and removed waiting room areas, asking that patients wait to enter the clinics either outside or in their vehicles. Some clinics have also installed plexiglass barriers to mitigate the risk of transmission. Treatments that typically involved physical touching, such as physiotherapy or injury rehabilitation, have also been modified to limit physical contact as much as possible.
Source: Pillars of Wellness
Hygiene, Hand Washing and Disinfecting
While clinicians and support staff have always made proper hygiene and hand washing a priority, they have taken additional steps to protect patients. Employees are required to wear medical gloves and have adopted strict protocols for hand washing and sanitizing between clients. Hand sanitizer has been dispersed throughout the facilities, and anyone entering or exiting the clinics must liberally apply the sanitizer when they pass through. All tables, chairs, desks, furniture and exercise equipment are also wiped down multiple times per day with a cleaning solution approved by Public Health made up of water and bleach. High traffic locations and areas around the clinics that are frequently touched are also disinfected on a regular basis.
Personal Protective Equipment
All therapists will be required to wear appropriate PPE, including gloves, masks, face shields and a gown or scrubs. Clinicians are also asking patients to bring their own masks to wear during treatment sessions, as the risk of COVID-19 transmission is greatly reduced when all parties are wearing masks. While staff and clinicians will be wearing three-ply face masks, patients are able to wear reusable cloth masks. Authorized clinics may have enough masks on hand to withstand any future PPE shortages and may be able to offer patients masks if they are unable to come equipped with their own.
All authorized clinics will be responsible for ensuring their compliance with current safety measures.
While Authorized PoNS Treatment™ Clinics may look and function a bit differently, they will continue to deliver the highest quality of care and service. If there are any questions with respect to safety procedures and protocols or how your treatment may be affected, or to book a free phone consultation, please contact your nearest clinic.