Update on COVID-19

Updated October 20, 2020

Dear Patients,

 

Like many other businesses, we have struggled to remain viable over the last few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was further exacerbated by inadequate government funding for virtual care. We had to make difficult decisions in order to keep the doors open, including cutting staff hours, which greatly impacted our ability to run smoothly. The onset of virtual care when the pandemic started resulted in our phone lines being utterly overwhelmed at times.

 

We survived the worst of it and started to recover. Operations were just starting to normalize when, a week ago, we were hit with another substantial challenge.

 

Another medical clinic in Windermere, facing similar operational and financial challenges, was forced to shut down abruptly. Their physicians needed someplace to go, to ensure that their patients were not abandoned without care, so we took them on. This has again resulted in a sudden, massive increase in workload for our team, which has again exceeded our phone lines' capacity. We are also running our flu shot clinics right now, which has further increased our call volumes.

 

We are working on fixes. We have hired additional staff, but it will take time to get them trained and fully functional with our operating procedures. We have started the process to set up an online booking portal to allow patients the opportunity to book appointments without having to call the office, but this will take a few weeks to implement.  

 

We cannot apologize enough for the inconvenience we have caused you. We haven't suddenly become a poorly-run clinic. We are confident that the challenges we are currently facing will be overcome. We just need a little time to adapt to the increased workload that was suddenly thrust upon us. Our staff are doing the very best they can under very difficult circumstances. They have taken a lot of abuse from some justifiably angry patients over the past week. Our current struggles are not their fault. Please be patient with them. Please be kind to them.

We will post a link to our online portal as soon as it's up and running. Until then, if we are unable to answer the phone when you call, please leave only one voicemail, or send a text message to 780-466-6236 with your full name, phone number, and the doctor you are trying to reach. One of our staff members will reach out to book your appointment as soon as they possibly can.

 

We appreciate your patience.  

 

Sincerely,

The Medical Director at WPMC

In order to keep our staff and patients safe, we are implementing the following COVID-19 precautions at Windermere Plaza Medical Clinic:

 

 

  • All patients are asked to wear a mask to their appointment. Please keep your mask on for the duration of your time in the clinic. If possible, avoid using vented/valved masks as these do not protect others from your exhaled air/droplets.

  • Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your appointment time unless instructed otherwise. If you arrive earlier than this, you may be asked to wait outside the building or in your vehicle to avoid crowding in the waiting room.

  • When possible, please come to your appointment unaccompanied. If the appointment is for a child, please come with only one parent/guardian.

  • Please remain 2 metres/6 feet apart from other patients and clinic staff.

  • Each room will be appropriately sanitized before and after your visit.

  • If you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, including new cough or worsening of chronic cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever, chills, shortness of breath, vomiting/diarrhea, or difficulty breathing, please do not come to your appointment. Instead, your doctor will speak with you on the phone to help manage your symptoms and to determine whether tests are needed. If you are having a medical emergency, please call 911.

An unfortunate consequence of this pandemic is that some patients with legitimate medical concerns have delayed seeking medical attention because they are terrified to go to the doctor's office. As a result, these medical issues become more severe, resulting in sicker patients needing more advanced care, and sometimes hospitalization. This is not ideal in the face of a pandemic. Help us keep patients out of the hospitals. Call us if you're in need of medical attention.

What is a Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild cold symptoms to severe illnesses.

Coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • Respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze

  • Close personal contact (e.g. touching, shaking hands, kissing, sharing food/drinks/household items)

  • ​Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes/nose/mouth with unwashed hands​

Coronaviruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water or food.​

How Can I Protect Myself?

Good hygiene practices can help protect yourself and others from the spread of viruses, including coronavirus and influenza:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (long enough to sing "Happy Birthday" or "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star").

  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes and wash your hands after doing so.

  • Stay home and away from others if you are feeling ill.

  • If you are sick, wearing a mask helps prevent passing the illness to others. Wash your hands before and after putting on and removing masks.

  • Use of a non-medical mask may prevent you from spreading respiratory droplets that may contain the virus to others. Please reserve the use of medical masks for frontline healthcare workers. Masking is helpful only when the above precautions are already in practice.

Learn More about COVID-19

Here are some informative and credible resources for you to learn more about COVID-19 and what is being done to protect Albertans: