The health and safety of our team members, our patient community, and everyone’s families remains a priority as we navigate our way through the current pandemic. This document outlines the measures and policies implemented by Fine Dentistry to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and well-being of everyone. Please note that the protocols described herein are really a fusion of recommendations established by the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafe BC, and the BC Dental Association.
- All staff of Fine Dentistry 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 811 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 patients) 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 patients 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, provision of dental services will be provided to clients who were unable to be seen during the "essential-services only" period. Following that period, most other patients will be invited to resume treatment that is “closer to normal”.
- All appointments must be pre-booked.
- Virtual appointments will be offered as a first choice wherever possible.
- All live appointments must be pre-booked. All patients will be pre-screened. Only those clients who pass the pre-screening process will be admitted to the office.
- All patients and visitors must be pre-screened by staff prior to any scheduled appointment.
- 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?
Patients who answer YES to any of the above may be asked to reschedule their appointment at a later date.
Only patients who answer NO to ALL of 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 enable thorough cleaning and disinfection of the clinical and office areas between patients 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 is not exceeded. Overflow waiting areas will be designated in the event an occupancy limit has been exceeded.
- Only a parent of younger children or a care aide will be admitted to the office with a patient in order to ensure proper physical distancing can always be maintained.
- Patients/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 to rebook if they are not feeling well on that day.
Arriving at Fine Dentistry Dental Clinic:
Upon arrival, patients and visitors will be screened again. Those who answer YES to any of the screening questions may be asked to reschedule their appointment.
- Patients and 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
- Patients and visitors will be offered a mask if they arrive without wearing one.
- Patents and visitors who are ill: the Fine Dentistry Dental Clinics serves many vulnerable and elderly clients and cannot risk their health by exposing them to someone who may be sick.
- Patients or visitors who appear ill will be asked to go home and reschedule their visit and be offered a virtual appointment where possible.
- Patients and visitors who are non-compliant. Patients and visitors who are not following Fine Dentistry clinical 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 inhouse services.
- Patients and 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 Patient and Visitor visit:
- Where possible, staff will maintain physical distance of 2m when working with patients and visitors
- If interactions must take place under the 2m rule, personal protective equipment (PPE) will be wor
- 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 are required
- Face shields will be worn with masks when interactions under 2m are required. If the patient or visitor needs to lip-read the staff member, the mask will be removed. 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
- Staff and patients and visitors will follow proper hand hygiene etiquette:
- Before and after contact
- After contact with body fluid exposure risk (e.g. saliva, blood)
- After touching surroundings
- If using tactile communication, staff will use gloves or wash hands immediately after contact
Plexiglass barriers have been installed at all reception areas.
- Sanitizing wipes or solutions deemed effective for COVID-19 management will be used
- High use touch points will be cleaned and disinfected continuously throughout every business day after each patient or visitor has entered or exited. These high use areas include:
- Entry door handles
- Bathroom door handles
- Counter tops and POS terminals (payment machines) that have been touched by patient or visitors
- Waiting room chairs
- Hand sanitizers will be placed at every reception area and in any treatment room where patients or visitors will be present.
- Where possible, doors will be kept open to ensure proper ventilation and to reduce touching of door handles.
Patients and visitors will be advised of Fine Dentistry Clinic 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
- This operations plan will be regularly reviewed, and a risk assessment of the Fine Dentistry Clinic operations will be conducted monthly and/or more frequently to ensure protocols are consistent with the most current public health guidelines
- All staff and patients and visitors entering Fine Dentistry Clinic must understand how to keep themselves safe while in the clinic.
- Staff will be trained on safe occupancy limits, effective hygiene practices and what to do if a staff member or visitor falls ill.
- Incident management:
- In the event a staff or recent patient or visitor is tested positive for COVID, the incident will be reported to the Health and Safety Officer immediately
- The staff member, patient, or 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, patients and visitors will be maintained.
- High level cleaning:
- All areas of where infected staff, patient or visitor have 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, patients or visitors in the building.
- Incident will be documented by relevant personnel.