Spa Creek Health is open for business. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow the guidelines provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Dental Association (ADA), and local governments.
Spa Creek Health COVID-19 FAQs
We’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions Spa Creek Health is asked about our COVID-19 precautions. If you don’t see your question and answer below, feel free to call us at (267) 691-2800 and we’ll be happy to help.
Safety is our first priority. We have ordered additional PPE, including N95 masks, HEPA filtration systems, and unique dental equipment to reduce aerosol droplet transmission. We have updated our protocols, and conducted additional staff training to ensure that everyone is safe: patients, community staff, and clinical staff alike.
Our clinicians will be tested once a week for a COVID-19 infection. Our clinicians will have their temperature taken at the start of each work day. We base all our testing protocols off of the recommendations of UPenn Dental School, which follow all of the guidelines of the CDC and the American Dental Association. A complete list of those protocols will be made available online or upon request.
We have previously used an aerosol-reliant machine called a Cavitron to help us thoroughly perform cleanings. We will be decommissioning those machines for the foreseeable future. Instead, we will be using more traditional methods for removing plaque and calculus, primarily through manual hand scalers to give our patients the best service available in this climate.
Due to the nature of our business and how we travel, the room we use will change per community. We will have conversations with each community before entering to make sure we have the proper materials and procedures to hold the clinic while living up to our guidelines. The most important thing is that we are able to effectively disinfect the room before and after every appointment.
RPs are never required to be present for any of our appointments. If you’d like to be present, you will need to follow the protocols of your senior community. If a patient requires extra care during an appointment, we will seek an appointed nurse from the community to assist. The nurse will have to have proper PPE and have their temperature taken prior to the appointment.
Spa Creek Health COVID-19 Infection Control Policy and Protocol
This page will be updated as needed with any additional infection control policies and protocols.
To reduce the risk of exposure to contagious agents that are spread by droplet contact, such as the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, by expanding on our current infection control procedures that are based on standard precautions. The goal of these new measures is to mitigate risks and protect our clinicians and patients. This includes the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in all patient encounters, including but not limited to the management of aerosol-producing procedures. This protocol should allow for a gradual return to “normal operations” and the continuation of providing a reasonable level of care and services to our patients. We will continue to monitor recommended updates by official bodies, such as the CDC, OSHA, and ADA, and update our protocols accordingly.
Spa Creek Health will be following CDC recommendations for risk assessment of clinicians, staff, and patients, as published in the Interim U.S. Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19):
- All Spa Creek Health clinicians will have training on these guidelines to ensure established protocols are understood and compliance is adhered to.
- All Spa Creek Health clinicians will complete daily self-assessments prior to attending any clinic as outlined in the sections below.
- All clinicians, community staff, and patients who enter a Spa Creek Health clinical room must have their body temperature measured. Those with a body temperature of 100.4°F or above will be turned away.
- All clinicians, community staff, and patients who enter a Spa Creek Health clinical room must undergo screening and must wear a face mask at all times. Removal of masks is permitted for patients during treatment.
- All clinicians, community staff, and patients must observe social distancing at all times except for patient transport and patient care.
- Spa Creek Health will not treat any patients who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. These symptoms include: fever >100.3 ˚F, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, recent and abrupt loss or reduction of sense of smell and/or taste. Fever may be subjective or confirmed. If the patient has a fever strongly associated with a dental diagnosis (e.g., pulpal and periapical dental pain and intra-oral swelling is present), but no other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are present, care can be provided with appropriate protocols.
All Spa Creek Health clinicians must self-assess their health daily before reporting to a Spa Creek Health clinic. In order to work that they, they must be able to respond “no” to questions screening for the following:
- Fever >100.3˚F
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, chills, tiredness
- Recent and abrupt loss or reduction of the sense of smell and/or taste
- Close personal contact (without PPE) with a suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient in the past 14 days
Honest self-assessment of health and potential exposure protects families and others from exposure to the COVID-19 virus and to other communicable diseases. If clinicians do not meet the above criteria, they are instructed not to come to a Spa Creek Health clinic for any reason.
Clinicians who answer “yes” to questions screening for the above must notify their supervisor and follow CDC recommendations by not reporting to work and following up with their primary healthcare provider. If, in reporting to their primary health care provider, a Spa Creek Health clinician is diagnosed as positive for COVID-19, Spa Creek Health will adhere to the following contact tracing and precautionary protocols:
- Spa Creek Health will contact any and all communities that the exposed clinician has visited in the last 14 days.
- Spa Creek Health will contact any and all patient families for whom the exposed clinician has treated in the last 14 days.
- Clinician will not be permitted to return to work until all symptoms have ceased and clinician has tested negative for COVID-19 and documentation of this test has been provided.
- Spa Creek Health will notify communities of any clinicians who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19 and will be able to provide negative test documentation upon request.
- All Spa Creek Health clinicians will be required to wear the following to treat patients: Bonnet head cover, N95 (or KN95) mask, surgical mask, full surgical face shield, full-length disposable gown, gloves, and shoe covers.
- All senior-living community staff members will be required to wear the following when transporting patients to a clinical room: facial mask, gloves.
- All patients will be required to wear the following while being transported in and out of clinical room: facial mask, gloves.
When donning (putting on) PPE, Spa Creek Health clinicians will:
- Identify and gather the proper PPE to don: Inspect equipment for any damage prior to wearing each piece.
- Put on shoe covers (booties), making sure that all areas of the feet are covered, and the shoe covers are snug. Clinicians will try not to touch the floor or other areas with their hands while putting the shoe covers on.
- When performing hand hygiene using hand sanitizer, apply 3 to 4 pumps into palm and continue rubbing hand sanitizer between and around hands, fingers, and fingertips until dry.
- When performing hand hygiene with soap and water, all parts of hand should be soaped, including the inner palm and fingertips, washing for at least 20-30 seconds.
- Put on a clinical gown. Tie all of the ties on the gown.
- Put on a head cover (bonnet). All hair must be tied back and tucked under the head cover and/or gown at all times. No jewelry may be worn.
- Put on a N95 (or KN95) respirator. If the respirator has a nosepiece, it should be fitted to the nose with both hands, not bent or tented. Do not pinch the nosepiece with one hand. Respirator should be extended under the chin. Both mouth and nose should be protected. Respirator straps should be placed first at the base of the neck (bottom strap), and second on the crown of the head (top strap). Ensure good fitting and perform a user seal check each time they put on the respirator. N95 (or KN95) mask will remain on during the duration of the clinical day.
- Place additional surgical mask on top of the N95 (or KN95) mask. Clinicians must wear a new surgical mask for each patient.
- Put on goggles or loupes.
- Put on face shield: Face shields provide full face coverage (the top of the face shield should be resting in the middle of the forehead).
- Perform hand hygiene before putting on gloves. Gloves must cover the cuff (wrist) of gown.
When doffing (removing) PPE, Spa Creek Health clinicians will:
- Remove disposable gown by reaching up to the shoulders and carefully pull gown down and away from the body toward the hands (by either pulling or breaking the ties of disposable gown). Do so in a gentle manner, avoiding a forceful movement. Roll the gown down always touching only the inside of the gown. Be careful not to let the gown touch their clothes, remove contaminated gloves while folding them into the gown, then dispose in trash receptacle.
- Perform hand hygiene at this time if there is any concern their hands became contaminated during the glove removal (if doubled gloved, remove the rest of PPE with second pair of clean gloves).
- Re-glove and remove face shield, then goggles, or loupes carefully. Remove face shield by grabbing the strap with two hands and pulling upward and away from the head while leaning forward. Do not touch the front of face shield or goggles or loupes. Wipe face shield with antimicrobial agent in between patients and dispose in trash receptacle at the end of the day. Remove hat (bonnet), surgical mask (do not remove N95 mask), remove surgical mask carefully untie (or unhook from the ears) and pull away from face without touching the front, remove shoe covers (booties) lift the shoe cover over their heel, pull it off their foot and dispose in trash receptacle.
- Perform hand hygiene, re-glove.
- Wash goggles with soap and water and afterward disinfect with appropriate disinfectant wipes. For loupes, use disinfectant wipes.
- At end of day when removing N95 (or KN95) mask that was used during clinic, they must first clean hands before removing mask. Then place N95 (or KN95) mask in a designated bag or container with each clinician’s name for storage.
Prior to each Spa Creek Health Clinic, Spa Creek will communicate with each senior living community to review the following:
- Confirmation about the clinical room to be used. Each clinical room must have working air/and or heat, proper ventilation system, access to a sink with running water, functioning electrical outlets, table and/or countertop, chairs for patient and clinical staff, and access to a trash receptacle.
- Confirmation about patient transport procedure. In order to prevent the risk of COVID-19 spread, Spa Creek Health requires communities to arrange for a nursing aid or community staff member to transport patients to and from their appointments. Community staff members will be expected to adhere to certain PPE requirements as a part of entering and exiting the clinical room.
- Spa Creek Health will review whether any scheduled patients have shown any symptoms of COVID-19. If so, the patient will be rescheduled.
- Spa Creek Health will review any additional infection control policies and protocols or any additional assessments required by each senior community beyond what is listed here and will ensure feasibility to adhere to additional requirements prior to holding a scheduled clinic.
- Spa Creek Health clinicians will complete the above self-assessment along with any other additional assessment required by the community, as necessary.
When entering senior communities, Spa Creek Health clinicians will:
- Have their temperature taken at the beginning of the day, prior to loading equipment, when transporting equipment from the Spa Creek Health office.
- Have their temperature checked prior to starting the clinical day, either by Spa Creek or the community (depending on the community guidelines).
- Enter the community wearing a surgical mask and clean scrubs. All personal items (keys, cell phones, purse) will be placed in a sterile plastic bag for the remainder of clinic.
- Proceed to the clinical room with the necessary equipment (note: this may take up to three or four trips). Clinicians will sanitize hands, elevator buttons, and door handles prior to opening and closing.
- Provide for the community staff a written list of who is scheduled for an appointment and will confirm patient transport procedure and timing.
Prior to seeing the first patient, Spa Creek Health clinicians will prepare the room by:
- Starting the HEPA filter, prepping the room with pre-wipe and covering all exposed equipment (i.e., countertops, salon chairs, desks, etc.) in the room as well as clinical equipment (i.e., laptops, X-ray machine, X-ray sensor, etc.).
- Using barrier film and plastic tarp to protect the room and all Spa Creek Health equipment from unnecessary exposure to germs and bacteria.
- Wearing gloves and a surgical mask while spraying/wiping down surfaces with antimicrobial agents in the entire room: chair, light, computer, cabinets, tubing, etc.
- Covering overhead light switch/handles and bracket table handle/control unit with the appropriate barrier film.
- Covering computer unit, suction, air water syringes and handpiece lines with appropriate barrier covers.
- Not bringing anything into the room that is not needed for the individual patient they are prepping for. All other equipment is to be left outside the room. Equipment and PPE cart should be covered with plastic barrier. PPE is put on outside of clinical room.
- Sanitizing hands with 3-4 pumps of sanitizer for 20-30 seconds, rubbing until dry. Items which are unrelated to patient care must not be present in the operatory. This includes patient bags, coats and storage boxes (such as gloves, masks and boxes).
- Providing each patient with their own individual sterilized kit in a sealed plastic container for their appointments.
- Clinicians will remove gloves and perform hand hygiene. When performing hand hygiene using hand sanitizer, 3 to 4 pumps will be used into the palm and continue rubbing hand sanitizer between and around hand, fingers, and fingertips until dry. When performing hand hygiene with soap and water, hands must be visibly soiled all around hands, inner palm, and fingertips, washing for at least 20-30 seconds.
- Clinicians will don appropriate PPE as outlined in the protocol above.
- Patients must wear a mask at all times until examination and/or direct intra-oral care is administered.
- Patient will be instructed/guided through performing hand hygiene: When performing hand hygiene using hand sanitizer, 3 to 4 pumps into the palm and continue rubbing hand sanitizer between and around hand, fingers, and fingertips until dry. When performing hand hygiene with soap and water- hands must be visibly soiled around hands, inner palm, and fingertips, washing for at least 20-30 seconds.
- A mouthwash prerinse will be required of all patients as we begin their appointment. Intra-oral decontamination: Patients must rinse with 1.5% hydrogen peroxide for one minute.
- All intra-oral appliances, such as dentures, occlusal splints, etc., must be disinfected when adjustment is being performed on them.
- To reduce aerosol, electric hand piece speed must be reduced to 100,000 revolutions or below and the air supply to the hand piece must be turned off completely. Cooling will be done by water stream only.
- All aerosolized procedures must be performed under rubber dam, when possible, and with the utilization of high-speed evacuation. No Cavitron ultrasonic scalers will be used until the foreseeable future.
- Clinicians should not leave room for any supplies once treatment has started.
- At the conclusion of active care, the patient must be asked to perform hand hygiene with hand sanitizer, and they must continue to wear their mask after treatment is done and as they leave the clinical area.
- After each patient appointment, clinicians will remove all barriers and wipe the area with disinfectant spray or cloth.
- RP/POA(s) are NOT allowed to attend the clinical visit with patient. If further assistance is needed, a facility/community nurse will attend. If a facility/community nurse is called into a clinic for extra support, they must comply with previously stated Spa Creek Health’s guidelines.
- Use ABHR with 60%-95% alcohol or wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 to 30 seconds. If hands are visibly soiled, use soap and water before returning to ABHR.
- Patients will not receive a handpiece tooth polish at the end of the appointment. All polishes will be done using a toothbrush that will be provided by Spa Creek Dental.
Approximately 20 minutes will be added between all patients appointments to allow our clinicians time to properly sterilize and disinfect the rooms up to the CDC and ADA guidelines.
- Clinicians will wipe/spray goggles or face shield
- Disposable gloves and gowns will be changed in between patients
- Clean gloved hands with sanitizer, 20 to 30 seconds
- Remove gown and gloves in one movement
- Roll gown inside out and discard
- Hand hygiene
- Remove face shield from the sides; wash off with soap and water
- Remove surgical mask and discard
- Hand hygiene
- All dirty PPE to be put in trash bag in room after room is cleaned and all trash is together and tied shut per patient
- N95 (or KN95) mask stays on
- Clinicians will leave dirty space and wait 15 minutes before returning to clean room. A small timer is used to ensure 15 minutes have passed
- Spa Creek Health doctor will continue to enter charting notes and, after 15 minutes, call for next patient
- The assistant wears surgical mask and gloves to clean room, no gown or face shield needed
- Enter room
- Wipe all surfaces and change coverings as needed
- Instruments will be wiped and scrubbed before placing in sterilization bags
- Seal sterilization bags and place in autoclave
- Clinical team will run autoclave when they return to office
- Remove dirty gloves and surgical mask
- Hand hygiene
- Reset room using clean gloves and clean surgical mask
- Once room is clean, Spa Creek Health doctor will notify community staff member to bring next patient
- Clinical team re-dons their PPE
- All disposable items are thrown away into trash receptacle and trash bag tied shut.
- All nondisposable instruments will be wiped, scrubbed and placed into sterilization bags. Sterilization bags will go into autoclave to sterilize.
- Clinical team will autoclave instruments when they return to the office.
- At end of day after the room has been cleaned, remove the N95 (or KN95) mask that was used during clinic, they must first clean hands before removing mask. Then place N95 (or KN95) mask in a designated bag or container with each clinicians name for storage.
- Equipment and supply cart should be covered under plastic tarp before proceeding to leave the facility.
- Clinical team should wear surgical mask as they are leaving the facility/community.
- Clinical team will use hand sanitizer after placing equipment in vehicle before driving.
Any patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and are no longer symptomatic and have proof of a negative test will be eligible to receive care. Further background may be requested to ensure safety.
Any clinicians who have recovered from COVID-19, are no longer symptomatic, and have proof of a negative test, will be eligible to return to work. Further background will be made available upon request from communities.
To find out more about our COVID-19 safety precautions, call Spa Creek Health at (267) 691-2800.
“I just returned from my mother’s dental cleaning. In the past, my wife has accompanied my mother to the dentist and assisted by keeping her calm during her exam and cleaning. Spa Creek Dental was able to perform the procedure without any help from us. I was absolutely amazed. They have a gift for working with Alzheimer’s patients, and it was a very positive experience for my mother. Thank you.”
~Michael T. Family Member
“Spa Creek Health offers great services for residents at our facility. They even provide care at a patient’s bedside if needed. Our residents look forward to being seen by their team.”
~Director of Social Services
“We were lacking a full-service dental provider until recently, when we discovered Spa Creek Dental. They are the total package! Not only do they provide a convenient way for our residents to receive comprehensive dental care, but they are also trained in dementia care to be able to interact with our memory care residents. We’ve always had happy residents, but there are even more beautiful smiles thanks to Spa Creek Dental.”~Heather P. Executive Director, Assisted Living Facility
“Spa Creek Dental has been a great partner to our facility! Their team is always helpful and easy to communicate with. Ensuring our residents receive regular dental care has enabled us to improve their quality of life. We recommend Spa Creek Dental.”~ Director of Social Services
“I would like to recognize that the dental services being contractually provided by their team are done so at no charge to our facility. Their company provides a comprehensive dental program to residents in our facility that addresses potential unseen dental problems that could prove detrimental to our elderly population. A comprehensive in-house dental program offers great benefits to both the families and residents here in the facility. This service shows their commitment to the well-being and high level of care that we want to offer to our residents both internally and with partnerships from outside service providers. I would highly recommend this provider for your facility.”~ Director of Discharge Planning
“Spa Creek Dental is not just about providing great smiles for residents; they also provide timely service and meet the needs of families and residents with great empathy and compassion. I personally believe that they take great pride in what they do and are efficient in meeting the needs of our facility in emergency situations.”~ Director of Social Services
“I am the dining services manager and I appreciate the notes left in our residents’ charts. The notes tell me the oral status of each resident, which has helped me become proactive in preventing weight loss by recommending changes to a patient’s diet. These notes make my job easier. Thank you for your work.”~ Registered Dietician
“Spa Creek Dental has proved to be invaluable in providing preventive dental care for our residents. They’ve made dental care accessible to residents who may have a hard time going to appointments in the community. The Spa. Creek Dental team is also quick to respond to urgent dental needs.”~ Director of Social Services