As part of the Relaunch Strategy, the Alberta Government has recommended that businesses complete a plan to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among employees and clientele. The following plan includes special considerations we have made in response to the Alberta Government relaunch requirements and any requirements that have been provided by professional organizations to which our staff belong.
Pre-screening and Screening
- Staff conduct a risk assessment on the phone when booking clients to minimize the possibility of Illness or harmful viruses in the workplace;
- Signs are posted on the exterior of the building reminding visitors not to enter if they are exhibiting COVID-like symptoms or have not passed self-assessment requirements outlined by Alberta Health;
- All staff are instructed to self-assess prior to reporting to work using the Alberta Health Self-Assessment for Health Care worker https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Journey/COVID-19/Pages/HWAssessLanding.aspx;
- All clinical staff keep a daily journal of there self-assessment and health readings;
- All clients are contacted prior to their appointments to review the pre-screening questions;
- All clients are required to initial and sign a Consent Form acknowledging that they are free from COVID-like symptoms and that they understand the risks of visiting a workplace during relaunch; and
- All staff are required to sign a consent form acknowledging that they are free from COVID-like symptoms, that they have self-assessed (as per above) and that they understand the risks of participating in the workplace.
- Clients are given instructions to wait outside until they are invited to enter the Health Centre;
- Client visits are staggered to limit the number of patients in the practice at one time;
- Barriers are put in place to promote physical distancing while in the Health Centre;
- Seating arrangements have been modified to ensure clients can maintain 6 feet – 2 m separation;
- Staff or oriented on client directional traffic flow so that client movement is unimpeded and close contact is minimized;
- Staff breaks are staggered to limit congregating; and
- Dental care rooms have solid walls or are high walled cubicles.
Cleaning, Sanitization, Sterilization
- Our Health Centres use dental-grade surface cleaning and disinfectant materials with proven effectiveness against viruses (including Human Coronavirus, bacteria and other microbes);
- Offices have been cleared of books, brochures, pamphlets, and other materials;
- Horizontal surfaces have been cleared for quick and frequent disinfecting;
- Front end staff disinfect equipment (debit machines, counter tops) used for client admitting and exiting after every use;
- Dental professionals are fully competent in room disinfecting and tool sterilization and continue to complete these tasks to the highest of standards; and
- Door knobs, arm rests, high traffic counter tops are disinfected frequently.
Workplace Monitoring and Management
- Staff have had training sessions to discuss:
❖ the particulars of the COVID outbreak,
❖ guidelines provided by associations and colleges,
❖ Workplace expectations, and
❖ Changes to the workplace.
- Notices and posters have been placed to remind staff and clients on hygiene, distancing and respiratory etiquette;
- All staff are monitored frequently during shift to ensure they remain healthy and that vitals are within normal parameters;
- Conference and consult rooms are available for utilization where staff members can be separated from others if they develop symptoms while at work;
- Staff are advised on the importance of reporting any workplace health issue including illness related to COVID;
- Staff have been advised about company policy employment standards related to absences from work due to illness or isolation requirements;
- Digital thermometers have been secured to take temperature of staff twice per day;
- Strict hand hygiene policies remain in place for all staff;
- Clients are instructed when they arrive that they may check in by phone or text and remain in their cars or outside until they are notified that they are permitted to enter;
- Clients are instructed upon entry into the Health Centre to use provided hand sanitizer;
- Staff are instructed on enhanced equipment procedures such as shocking dental unit water lines; and
- Deliveries are to be received wearing gloves, packages are to be wiped down and disinfected to the greatest extent possible, and left unopened for 15 minutes.
Personal Protective Equipment
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommendations have been provided by associations, colleges and regulatory bodies;
- PPE has been made available and staff have been trained for the specific use of the PPE relevant to their working requirements;
- Staff have been advised on proper care, maintenance and use of their PPE;
- Staff have received respirator fit certification and training on proper use and maintenance to ensure maximum respiratory protection;
- Recommended PPE by all Associations and Colleges is standard for our Health Centres. All staff are aware of where they can retrieve necessary PPE; and
- Customers are encouraged to practice respiratory safety habits and invited to wear masks or other protective barriers if they have them.
At Living Wellness Dental and Dorchester Health, safety is our top priority. Employees at every level, including management, are responsible for full engagement in the company’s overall safety initiatives. Complete and active participation by everyone, every day, in every job is necessary for the level of safety we strive to achieve. Management provides training on relevant guidelines, policies, procedures and requirements, and ensures availability of required PPE. They will provide updates on regulation changes and put in place measures to ensure all staff abide by established safety procedures. Management also is accountable for any communications required to respond to any non-compliance situation.
Employees are responsible for following all procedures, regulatory/association guidance, working safely, watching out for their neighbour and, wherever possible, improving safety measures. An empowered, injury and accident-free workplace is our goal and together we can accomplish it.
The safety information in this Business Plan does not take precedence over the Occupational Health and Safety Act which all employees should be familiar with.
Dr. Kindal Robertson B.Sc., M.Sc., DDS
President and Owner