Office Policies

Eye Emergencies

At GEM Clinic, we will endeavor to manage your urgent needs. Unfortunately, we are not available outside office hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 4:30PM. If you have had recent eye laser or surgery and are experiencing problems such as increasing eye pain or a sudden decrease in your vision, call the office during office hours, or if it is after hours or the weekend, call the Misericordia Health Centre Eye Care Centre switchboard at 204-774-6581 and ask to speak to the on call ophthalmologist.

For eye problems not related to recent surgery or laser treatments, call GEM Clinic during office hours or visit Misericordia Health Centre or your local emergency department after hours or on weekends or holidays.

Canceling or rescheduling appointments

If you are unable to keep an appointment due to a conflict, please call the office at least 2 business days prior to the scheduled appointment to cancel.

We will try our best to give you a prompt rescheduled time, however we cannot guarantee this because we have many bookings far in advance.

For rescheduling purposes, it may be necessary to book your appointment with a different doctor than the one you were referred to.

If you need to cancel or postpone a scheduled surgery appointment, please give us at least 2 weeks notice. Otherwise, we will not be able to fill the spot and the operating time will be wasted.

Due to eye emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances, the office may occasionally need to reschedule your appointment or surgery. In this case, we will try to give you adequate notice, and a prompt rescheduled time.

Prescription refills

Please remind your doctor to refill your prescription at your scheduled appointment. If you need refills in between appointments, ask your pharmacist to fax a prescription renewal to our office (fax: 204-992-4006). Turnover time for faxed prescription renewal requests can vary from same day response, to a few days, for various reasons.

If your request for renewal is made while your doctor is out of town or away from the office, your prescription may be refilled by another doctor in the clinic.

It is always best not to wait until the last minute to renew your prescriptions, in case there is some delay in refilling it.

Phone messages

When you call the office, there will be a simple menu to guide you.

You can either choose to speak to someone right away for an urgent matter or immediate assistance, or you can leave a voicemail for non-urgent matters.

Urgent matters are usually dealt with on the same day. If you leave a voicemail for a non-urgent issue, we will endeavour to get back to you within 3 business days.

We realise that leaving a voicemail may not feel very satisfactory to most people, however, this really helps us focus on the urgent calls. Prior to implementing this system, we were experiencing call volumes of up to 400 calls per day. This led to a lot of missed calls and frustrated patients. We have spent a lot of time and money trying various methods of managing this high call volume; this system seems to work the best. Rest assured, we care about your eye health and will return your call as soon as possible.

Our office assistants are able to take urgent calls between 8:30AM to 11:30AM and 1:00PM to 4:00PM, with a break for lunch from 11:30am until 1:00PM.

Please note that persons other than the patient, designated representative family members or power of attorney (POA) will not be given information over the phone or in writing about a patient without consent from the patient in question in accordance with PHIA.

No calls, audio or video recording in the office

Cell phone calls are not allowed in the clinic and testing area. They cause interference with testing and are very bothersome and distracting to other clinic patients and staff.

When you enter GEM Clinic, please avoid taking or making cell phone calls.

If you need to contact someone at the end of your appointment, please text them or use the courtesy phone at reception.

If you choose to take a cell phone call during your visit with the doctor, (s)he may choose to see another patient instead, or reschedule your appointment. This would be a wasted visit for you, therefore, we strongly encourage you to comply with this request.

You are welcome to use web browsing or texting features of your phone with our guest Wifi.

No audio or video recording is permitted at GEM Clinic due to privacy concerns.

Patient Confidentiality

In accordance with the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA), we are unable to release any medical information to a third party without written and signed consent from the patient.

An exception to this rule would be if information were being requested from the POA or other doctors involved in the care of the patient in question.

Record keeping at GEM Clinic is done using electronic medical records (EMR). Staff at GEM Clinic strive to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of our patients' information on a daily basis by avoiding any open charts or access to other patients' files.

Office cleanliness

At GEM Clinic, we strive hard to maintain a comfortable and clean office environment for our patients and their family or friends. We feel that this is an important part of running an efficient, effective and healthcare facility.

We respectfully request patients and their escorts to help maintain this cleanliness, by throwing garbage into the bins provided and keeping the bathroom tidy.

Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Lost or stolen articles

We cannot be held responsible for any items that are lost or stolen while attending GEM Clinic. If we find any lost or unclaimed items, we will do our best to return them to their owners.

Smoking

Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the entire clinic and mall area.

Chemical Sensitivities

In order to respect persons with chemical sensitivities, we ask that our patients and their escorts avoid wearing strong perfumes and colognes.

Abuse of staff or other patients

At GEM Clinic, our entire team of managers, assistants, technicians and doctors are working hard to serve our patients to the best of our abilities with patience and compassion.

We hope that you and your escorts will return us the same courtesy.

GEM CLINIC DOES NOT TOLERATE ANY KIND OF ABUSE, DIRECTED TO STAFF OR OTHER PATIENTS, FROM PATIENTS AND/OR THEIR ESCORTS, EITHER IN PERSON OR OVER THE PHONE AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DISCHARGE ABUSIVE PATIENTS OR PATIENTS WITH ABUSIVE COMPANIONS OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVES.

If a patient or his/her escort creates a disturbance that we feel jeopardizes the safety of staff or other patients, we will not hesitate to ask such persons to remove themselves from the premises, or to contact the police as necessary.

Complaint process

At GEM CLINIC, our entire team strives to serve our patients with compassion and diligence.

We do recognize, however, that despite our best efforts, there are some people that may not be happy with the care they receive at GEM CLINIC and may wish to submit a complaint. We respectfully ask that if you have a complaint, that you put it in writing and address it to our GEM Clinic Manager.

Please note, that we only review complaints directly from our patients, and do not address those from anonymous parties, friends or family members of patients unless the letter has been approved by the patient, as evidenced by the patient's signature on the letter. You can mail, fax or email your letter to our office.

Our Manager will review your complaint, discuss it with our staff, and issue a response to you.

Alternatively, you can ask to speak to the GEM Clinic Manager over the phone.

If this is not satisfactory, and you wish to be transferred to another doctor, we can certainly facilitate that request.

When a complaint leads to break down of the doctor-patient relationship, a transfer of care may be appropriate.

If you remain dissatisfied, and wish to take your complaint to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, or the Manitoba Association of Optometrists, that is certainly your right. However, we would respectfully request that you first address your concerns to us, so that we can try to remedy the situation directly.

Transfer of care

The doctor-patient relationship is a very important one that requires respect, trust and cooperation. A healthy doctor-patient relationship can definitely promote good physical health and healing.

Occasionally, this relationship breaks down, for various reasons, and has to come to an end. This is an unfortunate, but sometimes a necessary event if this important relationship suffers.

Your doctor at GEM Clinic will either write to the original referring doctor, advising him/her that you will no longer be attending GEM Clinic, or will refer you directly to someone else, as appropriate or feasible. It is important to note that your eye care will continue to be managed, but with another specialist.

The most recent and original visit notes along with pertinent test results will be sent out to your referring doctor, or the doctor who will be requested to take over your care.

If you feel you want your entire chart forwarded, there is a fee of $150.00.

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