Health Services Response to COVID-19

Health Services Response to COVID-19

10/06/2020 - Message from Dr. Danielle Gervais, Medical Director – COVID-19 Update

Your health is our priority.

As we work to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and gradually start to resume normal activities, it's very important to address any health concerns that you may have.  Physical distancing is important but we need to ensure that health issues don't become bigger issues.  Many of our patients deal with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, mental health, and cancer, or need important vaccinations to protect their health.  If you have any of these conditions, or any health issues in general, it's important to work with your doctor or nurse practitioner to prevent further complications that could become dangerous or even life-threatening.  Your doctor or nurse practitioner will tell you if they need to see you.  

Feel safe in our space.

If we need to see you in person, we have new protocols in place to ensure your safety and the safety of our staff.  Most patient appointments are being held by telephone or through virtual care.  Clinic spaces, surfaces and equipment are washed down and disinfected multiple times a day.  All personnel in the clinic observe strict physical distancing protocols, while also using the required PPE to keep all safe.  Patients, staff and providers are undergoing screening prior to entering clinic spaces.  We ask all patients to wear a cloth mask or face-covering when they come to the clinic to protect themselves and others in keeping with Public Health advice.  

If you have any questions please call us at 613-564-3950 to find out how to get the care you need while keeping everyone safe. 

Best wishes,

Your Healthcare Team


14/05/2020 - Message from Dr. Danielle Gervais, Medical Director – COVID-19 Update

We are pleased to announce that starting on May 19th we will initiate a progressive reopening of clinic services.  In keeping with guidelines from Ontario Public Health and our provincial government, we're moving forward with Phase One of our recovery plan. We're focusing on gradually expanding clinical services while minimizing the risk of transmission through infection control and physical distancing principles.

Here's what we are doing:

  • Extending in-person visits beyond the original essential services. This will be a gradual progression over the next few months.
  • Continuing with telephone/secure video for the initial visit - Your physician, NP or other healthcare professional will address your healthcare issue and assess if an in-person visit is required
  • Managing risk through COVID-19 risk assessment - This will be implemented with staff and providers as well as before each visit with patients.
  • Implementing a universal mask policy for all in-person appointments
  • Limiting the number of people coming into the clinic
  • Limiting capacity in our waiting rooms and other clinic spaces to facilitate physical distancing.
  • Rigorously cleaning and disinfecting clinical and public spaces
  • Installing physical barriers in some areas of our clinic
  • Re-activating the fees that were previously suspended, i.e. for missed appointments & for prescription renewal without a (virtual) visit.

We need your help to expand our services in a safe way.  Here's what we need you to do:

  • Wear a mask or other face-covering to your in-person visit.  ​If you forget to bring your own mask or face-covering you can purchase a reusable mask on arrival at reception.
  • Come to your appointment alone.  If required, you may be accompanied by one caregiver or one parent where the patient is a minor.
  • Comply with pre-visit COVID-19 screening.  Work with our staff and Public Health screening guidelines to keep our patients, staff and healthcare professionals safe. You will receive instructions when your appointment is confirmed.
  • Cleanse your hands on arrival and after touching common surfaces or using the washroom.
  • Follow signs and direction from our staff regarding room capacity and physical distancing.
  • Don’t wait to address your health issues.  Our clinic remains open and our primary care providers, specialists, and allied health professionals are here to help you.

We ask for your patience and understanding.  Most appointments will continue to be by telephone or video for the next while. We are not starting to offer routine care at this time. ​​ Though you may prefer to see your physician or other healthcare professional in person, we need to expand in-person visits gradually and responsibly, following available guidelines.

Please remember - you can continue to access care and services at the clinic:

  • Appointments with Doctors & other Healthcare Professionals - Unless your physician, NP or other healthcare professional contacts you directly, your appointment will be by telephone or video.  You will be called at or as close to your appointment time as possible.  If the healthcare professional determines that you need to be seen in person an appointment will be set up for you.
  • Walk-In Clinic: Telephone Visit First - The Walk-in Clinic is open and maintains regular hours. Call the clinic and book a telephone appointment. If the provider determines that you need to be seen in person we’ll schedule an appointment for you.
  • Prescription Renewals – Please book a telephone appointment with your provider to renew your prescription. If your health is stable and you have no medical concerns, you can also ask your community pharmacist to give you an additional amount.  Please note that fees associated with prescription renewal without a visit have been reinstated.

 

27/04/2020 - Message from Dr. Danielle Gervais, Medical Director – COVID-19 Update

While the Premier of Ontario has yet to announce a date, we are starting to imagine that the current emergency measures will gradually be removed as the COVID-19 health risk starts to decrease and the risk to our compromised economy increases. Transition planning is now underway though it’s too early for specific details. I can say that it will be phased and flexible to better respond to the anticipated fluctuation in infection rates; that the ongoing use of masks will be prominent; and that physical distancing and remote work will continue.

Direction from Public Health continues to be on controlling the transmission of the virus and so requirements for self-isolation and wearing of masks continues.  Here’s what we will be doing:

Masks If you are coming to the clinic for an in-person appointment you must wear your own mask.  Wearing a mask or other face covering plays an important role in protecting others, like covering your cough and maintaining social distancing. Many individuals who come to the clinic are at a higher risk of complications from the virus so it’s important to protect those who are vulnerable. It’s also important to keep our healthcare professionals and staff healthy so they can remain available to provide care and service.  Due to the importance of preserving medical grade masks for appropriate use by health professionals, we are unable to provide masks to our patients. 

Though we mentioned these resources in our last message, we’re repeating them to help you make your own mask or face covering:

Please note that if you forget to bring your own mask or face covering, you can purchase a reusable mask with filter and neck strap on arrival at reception.  If you present to the clinic without a mask and are unable to purchase a mask your appointment may need to be rescheduled.  For information regarding costs please go to our Fees page https://www.uottawa.ca/health/fees

Limiting the number of people coming into the clinic – Social distancing is another important measure to reduce the risk of transmission.  In order to comply with social distancing directives, please come to your appointment alone.  Where required, a patient may be accompanied by 1 caregiver or one parent where the patient is a minor.

RAMQ patients: Visit Fees – Quebec residents who have had a telephone or video visit at the clinic since March 16, 2020 can expect an invoice via PayPal or by regular mail related to payment of the fee for your recent visit(s).   The reason for the delay was because we had to wait for confirmation from RAMQ for billing of these types of visits.  We will be starting to take payments for virtual visits at the time of booking – please have your credit card information when you call for an appointment.  For information regarding fees please go to our Fees page (equipment) https://www.uottawa.ca/health/fees

Outreach Calls in progress – We know that everyone is experiencing challenges.  We have been reaching out to our most vulnerable patients to touch base and see how you’re doing. As you can imagine this is a pretty big task and it will likely take us many weeks to complete.  If you haven’t heard from us don’t hesitate to call us to arrange your next follow-up by telephone.  Please note that some of our staff are working remotely and using their own phone to make the calls. As a result you may not see their caller ID. Please consider enabling calls from blocked IDs.

Self-Care – Please remember that it’s important to take care of yourself and not put aside health concerns.  Don’t wait to address your health issues.  Our clinic remains open and our primary care providers, specialists, and allied health professionals are here to help you. 

Key information about ongoing access to care and services:

  • Appointments with Doctors & other Healthcare Professionals - Unless your physician, NP or other healthcare professional contacts you directly, your appointment will be by telephone or video.  You will be called at or as close to your appointment time as possible.  If the healthcare professional determines that you need to be seen in person an appointment will be set up for you. 
  • Walk-In Clinic: Telephone Visit First - The Walk-in Clinic will remain open and maintain regular hours. Call the clinic and book a telephone appointment. If the provider determines that you need to be seen in person we’ll schedule an appointment for you.
  • Prescription Renewals - If your health is stable and you have no medical concerns, please ask your community pharmacist to give you an additional amount.  If they are unwilling to do that, please ask them to fax a renewal request to the clinic. If you do have medical concerns related to your medication, please book a telephone appointment with your provider.
  • Some resources
  • Mental Health Support

Best wishes


08/04/2020 - Message from Dr. Danielle Gervais, Medical Director – COVID-19 Update

It’s almost Easter and the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.  In response to recent changes we have amended some of our clinic practices. 

WHAT’S NEW?

  1. Easter weekend – All clinic locations will be closed.  Walk-in clinic telephone visits are still available between 10am and 2pm April 10, 11, 12 and 13.  You can book a telephone appointment with a walk-in clinic physician by calling the clinic at 613-564-3950.
  2. Masks - We have been, thus far, following Ottawa Public Health guidelines for personal protective equipment. Given the recent evolution of our understanding of how this disease spreads and how patients in our community are getting ill, we are adjusting our practices accordingly.  As per Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Theresa Tam, we are expanding the use of masks to further reduce the spread of the coronavirus.  Specifically, Dr Tam stated that wearing non-medical masks can offer additional protection especially when physical distancing is hard to maintain (e.g. in a grocery store, on the bus).  We are asking all patients who have to come to the clinic to wear their own mask. 

Here are some helpful resources related to masks and how to make them:

It’s important to remember that the role of non-medical masks is to protect others, like covering your cough. Non-medical masks do not likely have a role to protect yourself therefore physical distancing, washing your hands, reducing trips out of your home remain the most important measures to keep yourself well.

  1. Courtesy Calls – We know that everyone is experiencing challenges.  We will be reaching out to our most vulnerable patients to touch base and see how you’re doing. As you can imagine this is a pretty big task and it will likely take us many weeks to complete.  If you haven’t heard from us don’t hesitate to call us to arrange your next follow-up by telephone. 

Despite the many uncertainties presented by this pandemic we remain focused on our primary goals of ensuring access to primary care for our patients, and keeping our patients, staff and providers safe.  Here’s some key information about ongoing services:

  • Appointments with Doctors & other Healthcare Professionals - Unless your physician, NP or other healthcare professional contacts you directly, your appointment will be by telephone or (coming soon) video.  You will be called at or as close to your appointment time as possible.  If the healthcare professional determines that you need to be seen in person an appointment will be set up for you. 
  • Walk-In Clinic: Telephone Visit First - The Walk-in Clinic will remain open and maintain regular hours. Call the clinic and book a telephone appointment. If the provider determines that you need to be seen in person we’ll schedule an appointment for you.
  • Prescription Renewals - If your health is stable and you have no medical concerns, please ask your community pharmacist to give you an additional amount.  If they are unwilling to do that, please ask them to fax a renewal request to the clinic. If you do have medical concerns related to your medication, please book a telephone appointment with your provider.
  • Where to get more information – Consult Ottawa Public Health at www.ottawapublichealth.ca>public-health-0topics>novel-coronavirus

Best wishes


26/03/2020 - Message from Dr. Danielle Gervais, Medical Director – COVID-19 Update

I want to provide an update on our clinic processes as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. We have made some significant changes with the goal of ensuring access to care for our patients and keeping our patients, staff and providers safe.  

Appointments with Doctors & other Healthcare Professionals

  • Telephone appointments - Unless your physician, NP or other healthcare professional contacts you directly, your appointment will be by telephone.  You will be called at or as close to your appointment time as possible.  If the healthcare professional determines that you need to be seen in person an appointment will be set up for you.  We are looking to have these visits conducted via a secure video option in the future.

Walk-In Clinic: Telephone Visit First

  • The Walk-in Clinic will remain open and maintain regular hours.
  • All patients who come to the Walk-In will be advised, with new signage, to call the clinic and book a telephone appointment.
  • During the phone visit, the provider will determine if you need to be seen face-to-face. If so an in-person appointment will be scheduled. We aim to provide these appointments same day, ideally within a very short time period.

Virtual Visits (Telephone or Video)

Prescription Renewals

  • If your health is stable and you have no medical concerns, please ask your community pharmacist to give you an additional amount.  If they are unwilling to do that, please ask them to fax a renewal request to the clinic.
  • If you do have medical concerns related to your medication, please book a telephone appointment with your provider.

Screening

  • Continues at all sites, in person and on the phone.
  • We follow Ottawa Public Health screening guidelines – these change regularly as the situation evolves. Ottawa Public Health knows what they are doing and provide timely updates. 
  • Please help us keep everyone safe & comply with required screening.

When to self-isolate

  • The following should self-isolate
    • Travellers returning from outside Canada need to self-isolate for 14 days.
    • Close contact with a known or possible case
  • Ottawa Public Health offers helpful information on how to self-isolate. Please go to their website for the most up-to-date information.

Social Distancing

  • Social distancing is an effective way to limit the spread of the COVIC-19 virus.  Here are some helpful tips on how to practice social distancing:
  • Avoid visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, hospices and other congregate care settings unless the visit is absolutely essential
  • Avoid non-essential trips in the community
  • Keep the windows down if you have to go into the community for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare
  • Limit or cancel group gatherings
  • Hold virtual meetings
  • Spend time outside and in settings where people can maintain a 1-2 metre (3-6 feet) distance from each other

Please note: that these guidelines are not meant to say “you must stay in your home!”

You can still go outside to take a walk, go to the park, or walk your dog. If you need groceries, go to the store. We simply recommend that while outside you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 1-2 metres (3-6 feet) from those around you. 

Masks/Hand-washing

  • The use of masks and personal protective equipment is not recommended for members of the public who are well.  Masks can provide a false sense of security and must be used and removed properly to provide protection.  Social distancing, frequent hand washing and not touching your face are the most effective ways to reduce risk of transmission. 

Well-being

Where to get more information

Ottawa Public Health https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/novel-coronavirus.aspx#Travel-advice  


14/03/2020 - URGENT Message from Dr. Danielle Gervais, Medical Director – COVID-19 Update

Dear Patient,

The 2019 novel coronavirus, now officially designated as the COVID-19, remains a health concern.  There are additional countries that have been identified as currently affected areas.  As this is evolving rapidly, I encourage you to visit Public Health website for the most up to date information.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) as of March 11, 2020 there are 103 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada of which 42 are in Ontario.  1 person has died.  PHAC considers the public health risk associated with COVID-19 to be low for the general population, but there is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians who:

  • are age 65 and over;
  • have compromised immune systems;
  • and/or have underlying medical conditions

Governments and organizations in many locations are taking preventive measures to promote social distancing as a means of containing the virus.  The goal, at the moment, is to contain the virus and keep our patients, providers and staff safe.  To that end we are taking the following steps in the next week (starting March 16th) or so:

  • We will be converting all family medicine appointments to telephone visits for the next week so unless you receive a message from your primary care provider (MD or NP) before your scheduled appointment, please be prepared to receive a phone call from your MD or NP.  They will do their best to address your issues including prescription renewals, referrals, lab test requisitions, etc.   Your provider may determine during the telephone visit that an in-person visit is required and will book that appointment during the call.
  • All allied health appointments (mental health counsellor, dietician & pharmacist), with the exception of appointments with the chiropodist, will also be converted to telephone visits until further notice.
  • Appointments with our specialists will continue as planned unless you are advised otherwise.
  • If you would like to cancel any non-essential visits please know that, temporarily, we will not be charging any fees for missed appointments.
  • Similarly, no fees will be charged temporarily for prescription renewals from the pharmacy.
  • We will be exploring other ways to provide access to healthcare and will be sharing this information with you in the coming days.
  • Walk-In clinic: if you believe you need our walk-in services, please call ahead as we will be booking these same day appointments on the phone as much as possible. If you present in person to the Walk-in Clinic you will be given an appointment time and asked to come back. This is being done to reduce the amount of time that you have to spend in the clinic and therefore reduce the spread of illness. 

We continue to implement screening and infection control protocols as per Public Health.  We also NEED YOUR HELP.

BEFORE YOU COME TO THE CLINIC:

  • If your appointment is not urgent, think about re-scheduling it for later this year.
  • If you are running out of medication, please ask the pharmacist to give you an additional amount.  If they are unwilling to do that, please ask them to fax a renewal request to the clinic.
    • If you still need to see a healthcare professional, please call us.
    • If you have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing, please call the clinic. DO NOT COME BEFORE CALLING
    • If you are sick, stay at home if possible.  Follow the self-isolation guidelines from Public Health.

IF YOU COME TO THE CLINIC:

  • You will be questioned when you arrive.
  • You will be given a surgical mask if you need one.
  • Try and stay 2m (6ft) away from other people.
  • Do not touch any surfaces.

GENERAL PRECAUTIONS:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand.  Also, make sure to wash your hands afterward.
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick.
  • Get your flu shot if you haven’t already done so.

If you are planning on travelling over March break, the Government of Canada has posted advice here:  https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html  

Please note that at this time PH is now recommending self-quarantine for all persons returning from foreign travel.

For more information about COVID-19 click on the links below:

We continue to monitor information and recommendations from Ottawa Public Health & will adjust our practices accordingly.

Finally, we are unable to provide you with any supplies (e.g. masks, gowns) since our supply is limited.

I would like to thank you in advance for your patience, support and cooperation in this challenging time.

COVID-19 Resources & Tools

HP Blog

  

Hours of Operation

Walk-in Clinic
100 Marie Curie, Ottawa

Monday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Friday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 2 PM
Sunday: 10 AM - 2PM

Walk-in Clinic closed Saturday, August 8th.

Booking instructions:

Please call the clinic at 613-564-3950 to schedule a same day telephone appointment with a walk-in clinic physician.  If after the telephone consultation an in-person visit is required, patients will be booked accordingly.

Contact

300-100 Marie Curie Pvt
Ottawa, ON
K1N 6N5

Tel: 613-564-3950

Fax: 613-564-6627

After Hours Access to Care

Patients registered with a family doctor at UOHS

In case of emergency, always dial 911. THAS connects you to a nurse who can provide medical advice, or, if appropriate, provide access to a family health team doctor or suggest that you go to emergency.

1-866-553-7205


Patients not registered with a family doctor at UOHS – Ontario residents

In case of emergency, always dial 911. Telehealth Ontario is a free service that allows Ontario residents to speak to a Registered Nurse with their medical questions any time of the day or night. This could be when you're sick or injured but aren't sure if you need to see a doctor or can treat the situation at home.

1-866-797-0000


Patients not registered with a family doctor at UOHS – Quebec residents

In case of emergency, always dial 911. Info-Santé 8-1-1  is a free and confidential telephone consultation service that puts you in contact with a nurse in case of a non-urgent health issue.

Info-Santé 811

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