Modifying Your Practice

What happens when you are asked to modify your practice that may require you to deviate from COTO’s Standards of Practice? Remember, COTO works to ensure the public is safe. In unique situations, such as we are experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic and State of Emergency, ensuring the public is safe may mean that some practices may need to be altered in the clients’ best interest. The ideal may not be possible but the best possible might be in the best interest of the client.

All regulated health professionals are required to Identify and weigh the risks on both sides of this issue. Identify your options and apply your clinical reasoning to determine your approach. Consider:

  • What is in the best interest of the client?
  • What is the risk to the client in each of your practice approach options?
  • What is the best way to ensure reduced risk to your client, yourself, and other clients?
  • Weigh the benefits and risks to each option.
  • What other resources do you have available?
  • Would you be justified, and be acting in the client’s best interest, to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk even if you are deviating from a Standard of Practice? Is your client aware of, and consent to, the risks and benefits associated with this modification?

If you determine that you are able to minimize risks and that the benefits outweigh those risks, then you can approach your client with the option. You would need to ensure your client is informed about both the potential risks and benefits and consents to proceed. Document consent, your rationale, along with the other options you considered and why they were not possible. Continually re-evaluate the situation to determine if anything has changed and check with your client to ensure they still consent to your service.