COVID-19

Monday 3rd August, 2020 – 5.00pm

Good afternoon all,

As you are all no doubt aware, Stage 4 restrictions are being rolled out this week, and unfortunately for many Victorian businesses, this will mean further interruption to their operations. According to the latest State Government guidelines, OUR PRACTICE WILL REMAIN OPEN. 

Cheers,

David

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Monday 20th July, 2020 – 10.00am

Hi everyone,

As we enter another challenging week for all, please be advised that Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association (AOPA) has now updated their guidance on the use of facemasks based on advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) PPE Taskforce.  Starting today, we will require all visitors to the clinic to follow ‘Tier 1’ PPE use. This means that you MUST wear a surgical face mask to your consultation, and follow appropriate hand hygiene procedures. If you do not have your own facemask, we will provide you with one.

For a  guide to the conventional use of PPE, click here.

Take care,

David

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Thursday 9th July, 2020 – 10.00am

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all settling in ok to “Lockdown 2.0”.

An announcement was made yesterday afternoon by Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Michael Kidd, that all health professionals in Greater Melbourne seeing any patient for any reason should wear a standard surgical mask. This has further been endorsed by our governing body, the Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association (AOPA) and we will be following this recommendation. 

At this time, the patient is still free to choose whether to wear a mask or not to their consultations, however we strongly advise that you do so, and will have surgical masks available for the use of all patients upon entry to the clinic if you do not have your own.

We have also been advised by AOPA to utilise Telehealth infrastructure as much as is reasonably possible. For initial consultations and fittings of orthotic devices, this will obviously not be possible, however for reviews, face-to-faceconsultations may not be necessary if you feel you are progressing well. If you are uncertain as to whether a Telehealth consultation would suit you, please phone our reception staff on (03) 9570 3668 and they will assist.

We would like to remind you at this time that our waiting room currently has a capacity of two persons only. If the waiting room already has two people occupying it when you arrive for your appointment, please announce your arrival to reception staff, and then wait outside until you are called. It’s cold at the moment, so bring a jacket or wait in your car!

Stay safe everyone!

David

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Tuesday 7th July, 2020 – 10.00pm

Hi everyone,

By this time you are most likely all aware that us Victorians are heading into another Stage 3 lockdown 🙁

Please note that this does not change anything for The Orthotic Clinic. As an essential service, we will continue to see clients and please rest assured that we are taking appropriate precautions to ensure your time with us is as safe as possible. Just a few examples of current infection control protocols:

  • Taking the temperature of every person who enters our clinic
  • Allowing no more than two people in our waiting room at any one time
  • Hand sanitiser at the door available for you to use upon entry and exit
  • Cleaning of all clinical tools between patients
  • Use of masks by clinicians where appropriate
  • Limits placed on persons accompanying the patient to the clinic

We will continue to offer Telehealth consultations where possible.

David

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Tuesday 19th May, 2020 – 6.00pm

I hope you’re all doing well, and are starting to get a small taste of normality back in your lives!

As part of our ongoing commitment to keep our clients and staff safe as we very slowly increase our social interaction, starting today we have introduced mandatory temperature checks for all attendees to the clinic.

Regards,

David

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Monday 11th May, 2020 – 10.00pm

Hi everyone!

As of today, we are resuming home visits for fractures, and are pleased to welcome back our front desk reception team! 

Please rest assured that we will continue to remain vigilant with our infection control protocols for clients seen both inside the clinic, and outside the clinic at home visits.

Regards,

David

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Monday 30th March, 2020 – 10.30am

I hope you are all staying safe and sensible!
In line with Premier Andrews’ advice as of this morning, The Orthotic Clinic will still continue to operate.

There will need to be exceptions for minors, but whenever possible, we ask that only the patient enter clinic rooms for consultations, as per the new “2-person” rule. All accompanying persons must wait outside or in their vehicles.

To stop the spread of this virus, we have also limited clinic staff to necessary personnel only. This means there will no longer be receptionists at the front desk to greet you, answer phones and process payments. I will be assuming these duties myself, and I ask for your patience at this time.

If you do decide to contact the clinic by phone, a member of our off-site virtual office staff will still take you call (you may have to wait longer for the phone call to divert), however if you would like to book an appointment, we’d suggest doing it via this website.

 

Cheers,

David

 

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Thursday 26th March, 2020 – 1.00pm

 

Hi everyone,

Earlier today the Department of Health provided an webinar update of the COVID-19 situation, targeted at workers in the allied health sector, of which we are included. If you would like to watch this webinar, it can be found at

https://publish.viostream.com/app/s-n3tuxsb/post

As a result of the recommendations outlined in this webinar, I have now attained my certificate in “Infection Control Training – COVID-19”. You can view it here:

https://covid-19training.gov.au/certificate.php?course_name=Infection%20Control%20Training%20-%20COVID%2019&completed_date=2020-03-26&student_name=David%20Dzienciol

Please note that at this stage we are still advised not to use masks when treating our patients, as there is a global shortage, and supply must be prioritised to frontline healthcare workers. We have been advised to use them only if we suspect a patient of having the virus. Having said this, if our patients are following the current recommendations and answering our screening questions honestly at the time of booking their appointment, we will have no reason to suspect that you are unhealthy. So, again, it is important that both health care workers AND patients do their part to stop the spread!

 

Stay safe,

David

 

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Wednesday 25th March, 2020 – 10.00am

 

Hi everyone,

In line with PM Morrison’s address yesterday evening on 24/03/20, Stage 2 measures are now in place. Please note that as allied health providers, these measures do not impose any further restrictions on our practice, and we are still open for business until further notice.

 

Thanks,

David

 

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Monday 23rd March, 2020 – 10.00am

 

Good morning everyone,

Just a short note to inform you that following the Prime Minister’s address to the nation yesterday evening, and the Victorian Premier’s address to the state this morning, our clinic will still be open in accordance with Stage 1 Shutdown measures. Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) has just been advised by the Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Health that all Allied Health is considered an “essential service”.

Our operating hours will be slightly truncated at this time, however consultations will still be available each day, with preference given to those requiring more urgent treatment, such as fracture management.

We are currently waiting for advice from our member association regarding whether clinical staff will be required to wear face masks at this time. This is for your benefit as the patient, so we would certainly be happy to don these masks at your request.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of your obligations to stopping the spread of this virus. Please do your part by using the hand sanitiser provided upon entry to the clinic, and practicing social distancing where possible.

 

Regards,

David

 

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Saturday 21st March, 2020 – 9.30pm

 

To my current/prospective clients and referrers,

This past week has been a week like none of us have ever experienced before in our lives. The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, and the social norms we once knew must be temporarily cast aside and replaced with new ones that must be centric to our health and safety, and the health and safety of those around us.

During these uncertain times, please rest assured that your health and safety is our number one priority.

As health care workers, we are acutely aware of the risks associated with face-to-face clinical contact and have applied strict infection control protocols, following advice from the Chief Medical Officer and The Australian Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA).

 

Clinical Hours

As it currently stands, The Orthotic Clinic will continue to operate our regular clinical hours of 10am – 7pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, however we have made the decision to temporarily suspend all home visit consultations until further notice.

To compensate, we will make some evening appointments available from 7.30pm at the clinic on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. These appointments will be allocated only to patients that require time-sensitive treatment, such as fracture casting and CAM Walker/moon boot fittings.

Unfortunately, we will be unable to offer any weekend services at this stage.

 

Infection Control – What Are We Doing To Make Our Clinic Safer For You?

Our practice has deployed strict infection control protocols to ensure that your visit is as safe and hygienic as possible. These include:

  • Asking all patients a series of screening questions prior to booking an appointment.
  • Prominent signage at the clinic entrance denying access to those afflicted with any of the known COVID-19 signs and symptoms.
  • The use of hospital grade disinfectant on all equipment after every use
  • The availability of hand sanitiser upon entry to the clinic, and at various points throughout the clinic.
  • Regular spraying of disinfectant throughout the clinic.
  • Rigorous clinician hand hygiene protocols between patients.
  • Social distancing in the waiting room and clinic rooms where possible.
  • Offering telehealth combined with postal services for those where face-to-face consultation is not required.

 

Screening Procedure for Appointments

Upon phoning the clinic, all clients will be asked a series of questions prior to booking an appointment. These will be:

  • Have you, or anyone you have been in direct contact with, returned from overseas travel within the last 14 days?
  • Are you feeling healthy and well, with no symptoms of:
    • Fever
    • Sore throat
    • Cough
    • Runny Nose
    • Nasal congestion
    • Diarrhea
    • Shortness of breath?

Should you be experiencing any of these symptoms, we will be unable to book you a face-to-face appointment at this stage, however remote consultation alternatives are available.

Please note that currently, we have no way of preventing patients from booking online if they do not meet the screening criteria, however we are working on a way to email the screening questions automatically to these patients before they present to their appointment.

 

Social Distancing Procotols Within The Clinic

Despite being exempt from certain social distancing protocols due to the nature of our work, we are attempting to follow these protocols as strictly as we can as per advice given to the general public by the Australian Government.

We have currently removed all but two chairs in the waiting room, and no standing in the waiting room is permitted if these chairs are occupied. Patients will be asked to wait outside or in their car until their allotted appointment time if the waiting room is at capacity (2 people).

As per current advice, we are attempting to maintain a ratio of 1 person for every 4 square metres within the clinic. If we take the size of the clinic as a whole, this is achievable, however due to the small size of some of our rooms, this will not always be possible. We will therefore request that any unnecessary persons accompanying the patient wait outside the clinic. Exception will of course be made for carers and guardians of underaged children.

In addition, we will continue to practise wherever possible the 1.5 metre distance rule between each of us.

 

Remote Alternatives To Face-To-Face Consultations

As orthotists, we are trained to assess your mechanical needs and fit appliances to your body to aid in stability, enhance function and provide pain relief. Physical patient contact is at the very core of our practice. For this reason, initial consultations and fittings of these devices will always require a degree of contact, however there are many scenarios where follow-up consultations may be carried out remotely.

 

In these situations, we would ask you to please self-assess your need for a follow-up consultation at this time. If you feel you are progressing well with your orthotic treatment and do not need any adjustments, a telehealth review would likely be sufficient. In this scenario, a review consultation would still be booked for you, however you can phone in to the clinic at your allotted time rather than present in person, or elect to have an orthotist phone you at a mutually agreeable time.

 

Should you feel that adjustments to your orthotic device may be required, you would have the following options:

  • Present for face-to-face review, maintaining a high level of awareness regarding the risks associated with physical contact at this time.
  • If you opt for telehealth review, the need to adjust will be identified and you may then post your device to the clinic for adjustment. Your orthotist may ask you to mark certain areas of your device where you are experiencing problems for the purpose of adjusting it accurately.
  • If you feel that adjustments are required but are not urgent, you may opt to postpone your face-to-face review until a later date when COVID-19 restrictions have been eased.

 

We thank you in advance for your understanding and appreciation that during these unprecedented times, we will sometimes be unable to provide you with the gold standard of clinical care. We will however be trying to get as close as possible as we can to it with the measures we must currently put in place.

 

We encourage you to visit this page regularly for updates, and should you have any further queries or concerns regarding our protocols or the continuity plan for our practice, please don’t hesitate to contact our reception staff on (03) 9570 3668, or at info@orthoticclinic.com.au.

 

Be vigilant, stay healthy and stay positive. We’ll beat this.

David Dzienciol

Principal Orthotist/Director – The Orthotic Clinic

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