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COVIDSafe Plan

COVID-19 has had an obvious and serious effect on everyone’s lives. Toorak Village Medical Centre currently provides healthcare services to over 10,000 patients. We provide a range of essential on-site services including Pathology, Psychology, Geriatrics, Physiotherapy, Psychiatry, Sports medicine, Audiometry, Electrocardiography, Echocardiography, Holter monitoring, Spirometry and Nursing services. The services we provide are essential to helping our local community remain fit and healthy during the pandemic. We will therefore be continuing to offer both Telehealth appointments and face-to-face appointments (where appropriate) during the 6 week stage 4 restrictions. Please see below for our COVID-19 Safe Plan as required by the Victorian Government.

For the safety of our team, patients and the community we have:


Work from home initiatives:

• Arranged for our clinical team to work from home wherever it is operationally possible.


In-clinic initiatives:

• Arranged for the clinic to be thoroughly cleaned at regular intervals each day in addition to regular cleaning performed by our external contractor. Cleaning of high touch communal surfaces is completed at three hourly intervals. In our consulting rooms, chairs, examination couches and equipment is wiped down and disinfected after each patient. We have implemented data logging of all additional cleaning in communal areas and our consulting rooms.


Training initiatives:

• Our team has completed specific training regarding COVID-19 and infection control management from the Australian Government’s Department of Health.


Screening initiatives:

• Implemented a system requiring our team to report if they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms before attending work.

• Implemented a screening system whereby all patients attending face-to-face appointments are screened:

1. For COVID-19 symptoms and,

2. Contact with either a confirmed case of COVID-19 or somebody suspected of having COVID-19 (ie. somebody awaiting COVID-19 test results). Patients attending our on-site pathology collection are also screened before waiting for pathology testing.

Record keeping initiatives:

• Implemented a system to record the name and contact details of all visitors to our clinic, including our team and patients.

• Implemented a data-logging system for recording when consulting rooms are disinfected and the three hourly disinfection of of high touch communal surfaces is completed


Personal protective equipment (PPE) initiatives:

• Installed sneeze-guard perspex screens at our reception desks.

• Provided and requested our team wear surgical-grade face masks, eye shields, gloves, and gowns – where clinically appropriate.

• Mandated that all persons entering the clinic wear face masks.

• Commenced providing hand sanitiser to our patients and team on arrival and at various other intervals during their visit.

• Migrated from using linen to paper sheets, which are changed after every patient, on all treatment couches.

• Migrated from clinic-grade disinfectant to hospital-grade disinfectant certified to eliminate the COVID-19 pathogen by the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

• Ensured that we have ample supplies of PPE in stock and available for use by our team.


Masks:

Wearing a face mask is a community-minded and selfless practice which can help protect you and those around you, particularly if you are around people of older age or with other chronic conditions

As a high risk-setting, it a condition of entry to our clinic to wear a face covering (unless you have a lawful reason not to wear a face covering). We ask that you do so to protect our staff and other patients.

Some of our practitioners and clinical staff have chronic medical conditions and are at higher risk of COVID-19. These practitioners may require that you wear a face mask during your consultation. You will be informed of this when making your appointment and on upon arrival at the clinic. If you are not able to wear a face covering you may be offered a telehealth consultation in place of a face to face consultation.


Social distancing initiatives:

• Installed signage in our communal waiting areas and at our reception desks to ensure that patients remain more than 1.5m away from each other and our team at all times.

• Reduced the amount of available seating in our communal waiting area to ensure that there is 4 square metres per person.

• Implemented a system whereby patients that arrive early for appointments are requested to wait outside the clinic and monitor their mobile phone for an SMS or phone call advising them that their practitioner is ready to see them before returning to the clinic.

• Implemented a system whereby only 2 patients should be waiting for pathology at any one time. All others are asked to take a number and wait outside the clinic until one of the 2 available pathology chairs becomes available.

• Reduced the available seating in our consultation rooms to ensure there is 4 square metres per person.

• Requested that our team, where clinically possible, limit movement between our clinic and the sites of other healthcare providers.


Payment initiatives:

• We request that patients now make payment for consultation using contactless payment methods (tap and go, payment via credit card over the phone and direct deposit).


Reporting initiatives:

• If we receive notification that a person has visited our clinic while infectious with COVID-19, we will – as required under law – inform the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services, WorkSafe, and our team and initiate a deep clean of the clinic.


Additional information:

• We are not aware of anyone attending our clinic while infectious with COVID-19

• If a circumstance arises where a person attends our clinic while infectious with COVID-19, we will fully cooperate with and support the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services by complying with their directives and assisting with contact tracing activities.


Telehealth consultations:

• We have introduced Telehealth consultations for all of our practitioners. Telehealth can be accessed by scheduling an appointment and registering your preferred contact phone number with the clinic.

• Bulk billing is available for all Telehealth consultations with our GPs (provided the patient has a valid Medicare Card, for at least the duration of the stage 4 restrictions).

• Bulk billing is available for Telehealth consultations with our Geriatrician where the patient holds a current Pension Card or DVA Gold Card (along with a referral from their General Practitioner). A Medicare rebate is available, where the patient has a referral from their General Practitioner.

• Medicare rebates are available for Telehealth appointments with our psychologist where the patient has a Mental Health Care Plan from their General Practitioner. A further, 10 additional Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions are now available for people subjected to further restrictions in areas impacted by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Medicare rebates are available for Telehealth consultations with our consultant Psychiatrist and Physician, where the patient has a referral from their General Practitioner.


• Medicare rebates are available for Telehealth consultations with our Sport and Exercise Physician, where the patient has a referral from a medical doctor (ie. their General Practitioner or Orthopaedic Surgeon).

Please note that we do not bulk-bill for Telehealth appointments with any of our Allied Health Practitioners and Specialists. A private fee is payable and, as above, a Medicare rebate may be available. Please note that Private health insurance rebates may be available for Telehealth appointments with Allied Health Practitioners. Please contact your insurer for further details.

• You can book Telehealth appointments with any of our GPs online via our website:

www.tvmc.com.au

• For billing information or to book a Telehealth appointment with any of our Allied Health Professionals or our Specialists, please call the clinic on 98268811 or email us at tvmc@tvmc.com.au

Further information about COVID-19

For further information about COVID-19, we recommend you visit:

• The Commonwealth Health Department website: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

• The Victorian Department of Health‘s website: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-daily-update

• Coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398


If you require urgent medical assistance regarding COVID-19 please go directly to your nearest emergency department or phone 000.



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