Speech Therapy Works’ Infection Prevention and Control Measures

Below Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures were developed by reviewing College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario’s (CASLPO) IPAC recommendations.

We will continue to review and revise IPAC as recommended by CASLPO, Public Health Ontario, Infection Prevention and Control Canada and the Ministry of Health.

Our IPAC may vary dependent on type of treatment, client’s overall health condition, location of the patient, health and immunization of people in the practice environment, time of the year, outbreaks of infectious diseases in a particular community and information released by public health officials.

Community visits will begin in June 2020. Clinic will be closed until further notice.

Our IPAC will consist of

  • Point of Care Risk Assessment (PCRA)
  • Covid 19 Screening
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Usage
  • Physical Distancing
  • Virtual Care Usage
  • Toys and Equipment Cleaning
Point of Care Risk Assessment (PCRA)
  • All initial assessments or screening will be completed virtually to allow risk assessment before in person visits.
  • Prior to any interaction, Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) will assess infectious risks posed to themselves and clients and take necessary precautions. Precautions will vary depending on risk posed e.g. use of face shield, virtual care only etc. As suggested by CASLPO, clinicians must assess if a hazard is present in a situation? What is the health status of the patient? What type of task is being completed? Where is the task being completed? What action and precautions need to be taken?
COVID 19 Screening
  • Screen all clients for COVID-19 before community visits. All clients and family members involved in therapy will be screened before their appointment over the phone within 24 hours of the appointment.
  • COVID-19 screening is negative if the answer to all the questions is a NO. At this time screening questions include:
    1. Has the client or accompanying family members displayed COVID-19 symptoms or variant symptoms within the last 5 days?
    2. Have you travelled outside of the province in the past 14 days?
    3. If you traveled outside the province within the last 14 days, are you fully vaccinated?
    4. Have you come in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
    5. Are you confirmed with COVID-19?
    6. Is your child coughing or sneezing and displaying a red or sore throat?
  • Clinicians will screen themselves before providing in person services to patients on a daily basis.

Self assessment tool from the Ministry of Health can be found here https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/

Personal Protective Equipment
  • All clinicians will wear a mask at all times.
  • Patients and accompanying family members will wear own mask or cloth to cover nose and mouth.
  • Gloves will be worn during patient interactions e.g. touching during an assessment.
  • Eye protection or face shield will be worn depending on risk assessment and in situations 2 metres distance cannot be maintained.
  • If a client or family member with cognitive or intellectual disability is not able to wear a mask, the SLP should wear a mask and a face shield and perform physical distancing as much as reasonably possible.
  • Remove and wash work clothes that are exposed on returning home.
Hand Hygiene
  • Clinician will use an alcohol based hand rub or wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after each session.
  • Hand hygiene will be practiced after taking off gloves.
  • Hand hygiene will be practiced after touching the client, any surface at clients home and materials such as toys.
Physical Distancing in the Community
  • All initial assessments will be conducted virtually to allow risk assessment. Virtual treatment will continue when appropriate.
  • Office and administrative tasks will be completed from home e.g. progress notes
  • Group therapy will be put on hold.
  • We will not be engaging in physical greetings such as handshakes, high fives etc.
  • To ensure minimal physical interaction the therapist will be engaging with the child and one adult only. All other people in the home will be in a different room.
  • 2 metres distance will be maintained with the caregiver at all times. 2 metres distance will be maintained with the client/ child as much as possible. In situations where 2 metres cannot be maintained with the child/ client a face shield must be used.
Virtual Care
  • All assessments will be completed virtually to allow risk assessment before community visits.
  • Continuation of virtual intervention will be considered when appropriate.
Toys and Equipment Use
  • Assessments will be completed informally as much as possible.
  • Clean and disinfect all assessment materials with hospital grade disinfectant before and after use
  • Clinician will be using child’s/ clients’ toys in therapy. Clinician will no longer be bringing toys to sessions.
  • Clinician will use gloves when handling clients’ toys and discard at the end of each session. Parent must disinfect toys used in session before and after use.

We have completed our IPAC based on recommendations provided by CASLPO and Ministry of Health. Public health officials are continuing to understand the spread of COVID 19. In spite of our best efforts there is no guarantee we are stopping infection or the spread of COVID 19.