The practice considers the recommendations of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practice (RNZCP), the Ministry of Health and ProCare PHO in establishing guidelines for how patients access services through the pandemic. We continue to strongly encourage virtual visits whenever possible to reduce risk to patients waiting in the waiting room with other patients.
The practice has several obligations:
- In regards health and safety, fundamentally the obligations to protect the health and safety of all patients and all workers.
- To ensure all patients can access the medical care they need in a way that addresses their medical needs.
- To meet clinical standards of care set by the colleges.
Everyone is frustrated by life under pandemic rules, patients and health workers alike. Everyone just wishes life could go back to normal. But unfortunately while Covid 19 remains an active and present danger, measures to protect health and safety must interfere with normal clinical processes. It however makes it much worse when people take out their frustrations on others who are themselves are just trying to cope. While we strive to do everything we can to protect and serve patients who seek our care, we will not tolerate the abuse of workers.
Recognising that unvaccinated and unmasked patients are at a higher risk of long term harm should they contract Covid 19, we will ask the unvaccinated and mask exempt patients to use their own vehicles as private waiting room until the clinician is available to start the appointment. Please respectfully follow the direction provided by the staff. Please bring with you water and snacks, and remember you can open your windows for ventilation. Please try to use toilet facilities in advance of arriving.
All general practice patients are advised to have an initial assessment by virtual appointment.
Patients who have been assessed by virtual appointment and in the course of the appointment are asked to attend in-person for an examination, or Urgent Care patients, will be triaged on entry by a staff person working at the door. Patients will be asked their vaccination status, and should be prepared to present their vaccine card/certificate passport. Everyone arriving at the medical practice will have their temperature checked.
Patients who have had two vaccines and can wear a mask while in the clinic, and are symptom free may enter the practice with their mask on.
UNVACCINATED AND MASK EXEMPT PATIENTS
Patients who have had zero or one vaccine will be considered unvaccinated. Unvaccinated patients will be “arrived” by the foyer receptionist, and asked to use their car as a “private waiting room”. The receptionist at the foyer should "arrive" the patient but ask them to wait in the car. When the clinician is ready to see an unvaccinated patient, they will call the patient’s mobile and then go to the reception to “accompany” the patient to walk directly through. The objective is to ensure that unvaccinated patients have minimal contact with others patients and staff at all times. When the clinical visit is complete, the patient should be accompanied out to the foyer.
Patients who have a mask exemption will be treated in the same manner as the unvaccinated. They will be asked to wait in the car, and to minimize the time and interactions they have in the practice for their safety and the safety of others.
All unvaccinated and mask exempt patients will be electronically sent invoices as virtual appointments are invoiced rather than be invoiced at the reception counter.
Where the patient seems at imminent clinical risk in the foyer - the receptionist must get a nurse to come to reception to support and assess the risk of asking the patient to wait in the car.
WE NOTIFY OF POSITIVE RESULTS WHEN SWABBED AT A SILVERDALE MEDICAL
All patients swabbed at a Silverdale Medical practice that receives a positive swab result - a clinician must call and advise the patient in regards to self-care and self-isolation.
WE DO NOT NOTIFY NEGATIVE RESULTS
To save administrative burden we will not notify patients of negative results knowing that the lab is already notifying patients by text in advance of our receipt of the results.
WE DO NOT NOTIFY POSITIVE RESULTS SWABBED FROM OTHER MEDICAL FACILITIES
The clinical facility that takes the swab has the legal obligation to inform the patient. While we are being notified of positive results from swabs as the patient’s GP practice to maintain the clinical record of the patient - we leave notifying of the patient to the testing site.