Category Archives: Uncategorized

Flu shots – 2020

This is an unprecedented year and all the staff and doctors at Hollandview Medical believe strongly that vaccinations can help mitigate disease and protect patients. In particular, it may be difficult to distinguish a COVID-19 infection from a serious flu infection this year.

COVID-19 mortality rates are currently estimated to be between 10 and 100 times higher than the regular seasonal flu. (1)

We will be supporting and providing flu shots to our patients this year as soon as they become available. In previous years; York region public health has released the flu vaccine to our office in late October and November. Often times, the public health department has flu vaccination clinics available before we receive our supplies.

We expect to have more information on 2020 Flu vaccination programs after Sept 24, 2020 when public health is scheduled to host a meeting for clinicians.

We hope that they can provide the flu vaccine to our office earlier this year; and will update this post as soon as it becomes available.

IF it is still warm enough, some of the doctors may provide drive-by (ie: stay in your car) vaccine administration programs. We will be receiving guidance from public health on the best means to provide a safe flu vaccination program for patients indoors soon.

(1) https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu

Electronic Booking and Text messaging

During the COVID-19 Emergency; all ebooking appointments will be for telephone appointments ONLY.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

eBooking

We are also pleased to announce that we are testing a new electronic booking system.
THIS SYSTEM ONLY WORKS FOR EXISTING PATIENTS OF THE PRACTICE.

When using this system

  1. You can only have 1 booked appointment at a time.
  2. You can only book with your own doctor
  3. You will be booking for a TELEPHONE appointment at this time due to COVID-19 emergency.

We expect that there will be problems/downtime during this test phase; but encourage you to take charge of booking your non-urgent appointments with your doctor.  Please let us know if you are encountering difficulties with the system; it is still in development at this time.

 

eBooking Server is OFFLINE
However, for booking NON-URGENT appointments or communication
you can text us from your cell phone at (905) 955-9211.
We will try to return text messages within the same day during office hours.

 

 

Text MessagingIf you have a cell phone with a text messaging plan; you can text our staff with non-urgent requests for appointments/questions.

 

This is more efficient for than leaving a voice message and we will try to return text messages within the same day during office hours.

The office text ONLY number is (905) 955-9211
(voice calls are not received on this number)

Important Information for Dr. Wong’s patients.

July 20, 2020

Dear patients,

     I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones doing well and staying as safe as you can in these unprecedented times.

     As most of you know, I have been reducing my office hours every summer in recent years to spend time with my son. This year, in view of how the pandemic will likely impact the education system in the coming school year, I plan to essentially continue this reduced schedule for a full year, beginning in July 2020. During this period, I will only be seeing patients one day per week, with Dr. Kevin Leung covering my practice for the rest of the week.

     I apologize for the disruption to your care that this arrangement may cause. I am grateful that our family even has this option open to us, since I know so many parents are struggling to both provide childcare and do their own work at the same time.

     At the current time, our office continues to be open during our regular hours, but visits are conducted over the phone, for the most part. We do have patients come to the office for in-person appointments, but only if it is deemed necessary. However, we have not been given the go-ahead to resume routine physicals yet. Please visit our website at hollandmedical.com for regular updates on our office’s pandemic response.

     Please take care and stay safe.

Yours sincerely,

Alice C.N. Wong, MD

Instructions for In-Office Visits.

IF your doctor and you decide that an in-office visit is necessary; please make note of our current recommendations

PRE-VISIT

  1. Older children and adults should Wear a mask or face covering if you have one and can tolerate it (a bandana, scarf, or cloth mask is adequate).
  2. Patients over the age of 16 should come into the office alone.  For minors; only 1 parent should accompany them.  We can certainly accommodate additional family members by telephone/video chat if they wish to be part of the visit.
  3. Let us know if you have developed a new FEVER or Cold symptoms. Your doctor will initiate a telephone visit first to determine safe visit protocols.

ON-ARRIVAL

  1. Upon arrival; text (905-955-9211)  or call our office  (905-726-8332) to inform us that you have arrived.  You may also knock on the door if you do not have a cell phone.  We are trying to only bring in one family at a time where possible.
  2. When ready, you will be brought directly into an exam room and we will focus on the necessary components of the in-office visit (ie: shots or physical exam).  Your doctor may arrange  or ask you to book a follow-up virtual visit for further discussions or questions.  Since we are wearing masks + faceshields; it can be hard to hold a conversation as our voices are muffled with the protective equipment on.

NOTES

  1. For your safety, the staff and physicians will wear masks during your visit.   The masks’ main purpose is to reduce the risk of transmission to others.
  2. Please maintain physical distancing with the front staff (ie: take a step back from the plexiglass shields and  do not cross into their personal workspace).  Maintaining a 6 ft distance has a similar effect to wearing a mask and would be protective for both staff and patients.
  3. Wherever possible; questions should be handled over telephone / text messaging.

These are unprecedented times and we are all trying to work through them together.

We wish you and your family safety in these times.

Healthcare thawing in Ontario

I am pleased that the Ministry of Health today announced that elective surgery and some non-medical healthcare professions can resume activity.   It does not mean they will be ready.  It does not mean it will happen soon…

 

It DOES mean that patients diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of this crisis can start getting surgery and treatment again.  Hospital based CT and MRI machines will start processing non-emergency cases.  And everyone that has been waiting for physiotherapy and their dentist can expect to see them at some point.

 

We have flattened the curve and our collective sacrifice means that we never ran out of health care resources.   Ventilators, ICU beds and hospital resources remained available for ALL patients unlike the tragedies that occurred in Italy, China and Spain.

 

HOWEVER, this does not mean that there will be a return to our baseline.  We are all awaiting guidance from our various colleges on safe ways to see patients.

 

Until we develop a vaccine or find a cure; we will all be living with an elevated risk of mortality that hasn’t been seen since the proliferation of modern antibiotics in the 1940s.

 

As far as we know…

  • between 25-50% of patients show no symptoms and MAY be spreading Covid 19 at any time (that includes the physicians and staff in our office).
  • There is a lack of Safety equipment still (masks, gowns, faceshields are unavailable from traditional suppliers).
  • All patients will be screened by their doctor to decide if an in-patient encounter is safe and necessary.  Wherever possible; remote / virtual visits will become the norm.
  • The COVID lab test fails 15% of the time.

 

URGENT News – Waiting room closure. Ontario remains in a State of Emergency

URGENT CLINIC NEWS – April 24

We are committed to the health of our patients during this crisis.  The office remains open during regular office hours but we are making significant modifications to ensure the safety of our patients.

 

OUR WAITING ROOM IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.  

  • ALL patients will be screened  / booked for a virtual visit by phone with their doctor at this time.  Your doctor will work with you over the phone and where safe and necessary; will make arrangements for when and how you may come in to see them.
  • NO walk-in patients will be accepted during this period of time.

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING / STATE OF EMERGENCY.

  • Since patients and physicians may be contagious with viral shedding 1-2 days before symptom onset; we will be increasing surveillance and distancing measures in the office.
  • Stay home, stay safe is the overarching message.  This is NOT the time to come in for symptoms that can wait.
  • Public health and The Ontario Medical Association have recommended all non-urgent / elective bookings be rescheduled until this COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted or to be done over the telephone.

 

WE REMAIN OPEN WITH FULL OFFICE HOURS.

  • The office is being staffed as per our normal hours with phones being answered during regular office hours on weekdays.  All physicians remain available for virtual appointments and telephone consultations.  It is at the discretion of each physician whether an in-person encounter should occur.
  • PLEASE let us know if you would prefer to defer an in-person encounter; we feel obligated to offer at times; however, please understand that there is always the risk that asymptomatic spread may be occurring.
  • The latest thought (April 24) is that we are past the peak number of new covid cases.  It looks like everyone’s sacrifice and hard work have permitted us to avoid the tragic mortality rates that were seen in Italy and New York.

We thank you for your understanding in these anxious and trying times.

Telemedicine – effective March 16, 2020

YOUR APPOINTMENT (by phone)

 

The details from  public health (both at the local level of York region as well as the federal / provincial level) have been changing on a daily basis.  It’s been a whirlwind and I’m afraid that we haven’t seen the final policies/decisions.

 

At this time, we are honoring the request of public health to enforce social distancing.  In addition, the Ontario Medical Association has asked that all elective testing/procedures be cancelled at this time.

The staff at Hollandview Medical remain dedicated to your health. We are running the office on a regular schedule at this time.

However, ALL appointments will be converted a virtual / telemedicine format at this time.

Please call in to book an appointment with contact details as per usual.  Your doctor will call you for a telephone assessment and interview at the booked time.

Prescription renewals, diagnostic testing and report review are some of the issues that we envision can be done remotely.

Where appropriate; your doctor will decide how/when to bring you in for an assessment.  ALL non-urgent items (including physicals) should be postponed until further direction and clarification is provided by public health.

This may be of particular interest for our patients with health co-morbidities that would put them at risk of serious complications from COVID-19.  The doctor’s office IS a high-touch point site with the risks that encompasses.

WE WILL NOT TAKE ANY WALK-IN APPOINTMENTS.   The front door will be locked and we will request all patients make an appointment for a telephone assessment.  In particular; upper-respiratory infections (colds / flu / COVID-19) need to be assessed by your doctor over the phone first so that we can decide where and what type of exam may be required and is most relevant.

Keep yourself updated

https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus

Coronovirus 2020 – COVID19 assessment

Our office is NOT able to run COVID-19 assessments/tests on patients.

TESTING FOR COVID-19

IF YOU are concerned that you may have COVID-19, the province has opened up dedicated COVID-19 assessment centers.

The closest assessment center is located at Southlake Hospital and runs from 9am – 9 pm.  Please note that all patients seen there will be assessed by a physician and a COVID-19 test will be run where appropriate.  For more details; follow this link here

Information about COVID-19: updated visitor policy and Southlake COVID-19 Assessment Centre

 

Primary care offices (ours included) will not be able to test for COVID-19 as public health has asked that all COVID-19 assessments be done at the dedicated centers.

If you have symptoms of acute respiratory infection (like fever, new or worsening cough, new or worsening shortness of breath) and in the past 14 days prior to you becoming sick have any of the following:

Travel to an impacted area of COVID-19, which includes:
China
Hong Kong
Iran
Japan
Italy
Singapore
South Korea
Had close contact with a case of COVID-19

Had close contact with someone who is sick and recently traveled to any of the above countries

CALL OUR OFFICE and we will do a phone assessment; do not come in as it would put other patients (and staff) at risk as we do not have personal protective equipment in-office for proper COVID-19 evaluation.

 

Tips about our office for new patients.

Since there are patients new to the office; we thought a few pointers would be handy to make your visit to the office more pleasant.

The public washroom is just past the elevators on the right.    Also, if you need to use the bathroom while you are waiting, please feel free to do so and simply let us know when you come back.  We keep your appointment in priority sequence.

Lifelabs is also past the elevators, but to the left; their hours are generally Mon-Fri.;   7 am – 3 pm.  NO appointment is necessary.

When arriving at your appointment; if the secretaries are busy,  please feel free to leave your health card on the counter and take a seat.   We will check you in and ensure that your appointment .

Old records.     If you wish to get your old records; please complete the transfer of records request form and contact your previous family doctor to see if there is a charge.

You may wish to discuss with Dr. Hendrick whether she needs your old records at the time of your appointment.

Preventative Care Guidelines

Preventative Care Reminder List.

It has been an honor to be your physician to date. At this time; we have implemented a trial program to ensure that our patients receive the optimal screening tests as recommended by current guidelines.

At this time, it is highly recommended that you get the following tests done.

For ALL

Influenza vaccination – over age 65, we HIGHLY recommend the flu shot for patients aged 65+ as it is one of the best measures that we have to keep our seniors healthy. Getting the flu as our immune system ages puts you at greater risk for hospitalization, pneumonia and serious consequences. About 90% of deaths from the seasonal flu occur in adults over the age of 65.

Colorectal cancer screening – between age 50-744, we recommend that unless you have had a recent colonoscopy; a fecal occult blood test be done to make sure that there is no microscopic blood in the stool. Blood in the stool may be a sign of benign problems (ie: hemorrhoids) or more serious disease

For Women only

Mammogram – between age 50-74; we recommend that women get mammograms at least every 24 month to screen for breast cancer.

Pap Smear – between age 35-69; we recommend that women with low risk get a pap test every 30 months to screen for cervical cancer. Those with recent pap abnormalities should inquire as to the frequency that they should be getting their next pap test.

We value your health and with these measures; we hope to ensure that we can screen or prevent some of the more common diseases that we encounter over time. If you haven’t had these procedures done in a while; please discuss them with us at your next appointment or call in.