Footsmart Podiatry recognises that some patients that attend our clinic are most at risk of catching COVID19. These patients include:
- people with weakened immune systems
- older people
- people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions (such as lung conditions)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who have higher rates of chronic illness
- very young children and babies
Our aim is to minimise COVID 19 infections in consumers and the workforce with the support of the governance systems for effective infection prevention and control.
All our staff at Footsmart Podiatry have completed Covid19 Infection control training which can be found at https://covid-19training.com.au/login.php.
Cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation
In addition to current measures adhered to with reprocessing of reusable equipment and instruments (AS/NZS 4815:2006), Footsmart Podiatry has implemented additional cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation protocols to reduce risk of transmission.
As per the NHMRC Australian guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare (2019) Footsmart Podiatry will implement “very high risk” rating to cleaning policies and procedures for the duration of the outbreak. Appendix supplementation from these standards are found at the end of this document. In addition, 2 step cleaning will be implemented as per NHMRC guidelines. This process must involve either:
• a 2-step clean, which involves a physical clean using detergent solution followed by use of a chemical disinfectant
• a 2-in-1 clean in which a combined detergent/disinfectant wipe or solution is used and mechanical/ manual cleaning action is involved.
Footsmart Podiatry has a comprehensive cleaning schedule which outlines the areas to be cleaned, the person responsible and the documentation required. All staff are trained in the appropriate use of cleaning chemicals and adhere to manufacturers requirements when using them.
Communicating with patients and carers
Footsmart Podiatry regularly provides patients with information about implementations to minimise patient infection risks through the following:
- Posters and resources displayed through-out the practice
- Verbal information given to patients via telephone or directly in rooms
- Social media, website, blogs and practice updates.
- Free printable brochures
- Advise on who to contact for more information.
Compliance with government health bodies recommendations
Footsmart Podiatry recognises that social distancing and hand hygiene are effective measures for reduction of transmission. Our practice has implemented scheduling changes for appointments to reduce waiting times in the waiting rooms. Hand washing facilities where appropriate are available for patient use and patients are encouraged to wash their hands on entering and prior to leaving the clinic. Footsmart Podiatry provides alcohol-based hand rubs for patient use and encourages their use regularly. Staff are encouraged to open doors for patients and to reduce the need for patients to be touching surfaces within the clinic.
Interim recommendations for PPE during outbreak.
Footsmart Podiatry complies with the recommendations set by the Dept. of Health regarding interim measures for PPE use. All staff comply with the 5 moments of hand hygiene and use cough etiquette.
In the event that suitable respiratory masks are unavailable for purchase this practice aims to be able to provide staff with surgical masks. In the event that this is not possible, staff may at their discretion refuse to undertake procedures that have a high air-bone particle risk such as drilling and filing.
All PPE will be disposed of according to standard AS/NZS 3816: 2018 in line with the NHMRC Australian guidelines.
In the event of a suspected diagnosis, or contact with patients affected
Footsmart Podiatry will comply with current government recommendations of 14 day quarantine period for all staff that have been in contact with persons affected. All staff returning from over-seas holidays will be subject to mandatory 14 day quarantine period prior to returning to work. In the event that the practice closes for a quarantine period staff can elect to be paid sick leave (if accrued), annual leave (if accrued) or leave without pay.