Whether SARS, H1N1 or seasonal influenza outbreaks, ProResp has extensive experience providing safe, reliable care to patients, while working collaboratively with physicians, hospitals, senior living residences and other community partners. We know what’s at stake and we are prepared.
Our teams receive annual training on infection prevention and control protocols for everyday practice and during a pandemic. Our employees are trained on the effective use of personal protection equipment (PPE) to protect themselves and patients. We also maintain a supply of PPE at each of our operations, with additional inventory at our Head Office in London, Ontario. This will help ensure the continuity of our services during a pandemic. Our teams will only use PPE when appropriate and will follow directives from Ontario Health and Public Health Ontario.
All our respiratory therapy equipment is routinely disinfected before being provided to patients. Similarly, we maintain equipment and related supplies locally with reserves at our Head Office.
Bringing the Respiratory Therapist to community care is the foundation of ProResp. Our Respiratory Therapists are trained to effectively and safely manage the respiratory care of those we serve; their expertise adds confidence to our patients and to our health system partners.
For Healthcare Colleagues
We are prepared for an increase in activity as we anticipate hospitals discharging patients to make room for COVID-19 patients. Our objective is to continue serving patients while minimizing close interactions.
We will limit our visits to hospitals, medical offices, seniors living communities and private homes, and rely on technology to exchange information, assess and communicate where possible. We will collaborate with our healthcare colleagues, providing respiratory therapy assessments only when clinically indicated and requested. Specifically, for patients, after screening to assure safety, during this Pandemic, ProResp will:
- Provide same day oxygen assessment and set-up as requested.
- Perform an initial clinical assessment in-person. Follow up assessments will be done by telephone, as appropriate, using our client-centred care planning program (Pro2Care) and focus on care plans and patient safety.
- Ensure in-home visits will be performed only when required
NOTE: Oxygen funding renewal requirements have been changed by the MOHLTC during this pandemic to allow phone assessments and submission of the application without client signatures.
- Provide ongoing oxygen delivery. Where possible, clients can place their empty oxygen supply on their porch or entrance and ProResp will leave a supply in its place.
- Not request signatures for the delivery of supplies and on Care Plans.
- Complete equipment checks only when we are notified of equipment function problems.
- Maintain a two-metre distance from patients during all visits where possible.
- Maintain diligence in disinfecting equipment used during patient assessments, including stethoscopes and oximeters, before entering and after leaving patient homes.
For CPAP therapy patients
ProResp is prioritizing its respiratory therapy services to ensure those most in need receive timely services with consideration for the safety of both clients and employees.
Accordingly, we have made changes to our CPAP therapy services and how you access our care. For the duration of this pandemic, ProResp will:
- Continue to serve patients with priority to those needing non-invasive ventilation (BiLevel PAP and urgent CPAP therapy.
- Individual clinical review and consultation with your sleep physician as appropriate to prioritize urgent CPAP requests.
- Routine CPAP therapy initiation and in-person follow-up will be postponed.
- System and mask trials will be postponed.
- Remote therapy support and telephone support will be provided by our team.
- Personal Protective Equipment will be worn for in-person visits when indicated by provincial authorities noted above.
Our offices are currently locked during business hours to minimize office visitors. Please contact your local ProResp office if you have an urgent need to discuss.
For patients confirmed with COVID-19 or symptoms plus travel / contact history
- ProResp will perform the services listed above, keeping the need for in-home visits to a safe minimum. We will utilize appropriate PPE for each visit (mask, gown, gloves and eye goggles).
- Equipment removed from these homes following service will receive curbside decontamination prior to loading onto our service vehicles. Disposable supplies will be discarded at patients’ homes.
Note: ProResp employees will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when in your home – masks, gloves, gowns, eye goggles – when required by provincial directives or otherwise determined as clinical best practice.
ProResp will not support oxygen needs for any leisure or business travel outside of Canada while current travel restrictions are in place. To minimize potential exposure to COVID-19 you are advised to avoid travel anywhere if possible.
For Long Term Care and Retirement Living Partners, ProResp will:
- Ensure your teams have adequate oxygen/respiratory equipment and supplies.
- Suspend the requirement for delivery signatures.
- Provide initial assessments on residents started on oxygen therapy.
- Provide respiratory therapy phone consults with your registered staff regarding resident care concerns and perform on-site assessments only when necessary to help prevent ER transfers.
- Adhere to infection control and COVID-19 specific polices for outside providers.
For those with respiratory conditions who may be more vulnerable to COVID19, the safest measure you can take is to stay home and away from crowds and to limit your travel. Follow these measures recommended on the Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 website to reduce your chance of infection:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick
Please contact your local ProResp office for more information or to speak with a Respiratory Therapist.
Updates and recommendations can be found at the Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 website.