The importance of Consultation Cards during COVID

With new salon and treatment protocols in place, it's important that you don't overlook completing and retaining client consultation cards as part of your ongoing professional practices, but has what you need to include changed because of COVID-19 restrictions? We spoke to ABT's Dave Horton to find out more.
Dave HortonYou should already be keeping client record cards as part of your terms and conditions and the declaration questions agreed with ABT when taking out the policy. Without these your policy may be invalid. You should already be including on your treatment record cards, client's name and contact details, this could include address, phone number and an email. 

Client record cards should also include the date, time and the treatment title that was had by your client. You could go into further details and note the products you used during the treatment or any comments mentioned by the client in reference to the treatment. 

If required it could be worth noting the date that you carried out your client's last patch test so to keep in line with policy and manufacturing guidelines which could require you to patch test every three months. 

You could go into further details and note if any retail items were bought and aftercare advice you have provided, however we do understand that sometimes not all of this can be done after each client; the more detail that is kept the better it is to assist with a potential claim.

Can I carry out a Consultation virtually before a client arrives at the salon or I visit their homes? What about patch tests ahead of treatments?

Online Consultations are fine. Patch tests should be posted out to the client, and the client would need to confirm in writing that they have done it and the therapist confirm there was no reaction during the consultation; a declaration from the client or similar is acceptable.

Ideally, this conversion would take place via Skype, Zoom or similar so that the therapist can confirm with their own eyes there is not issue.

ABT's policy wording states: “The record should include evidence of patch testing where applicable.”

Salons / mobile professionals should only perform treatments that they feel safe and qualified to perform. If there are reasons during a consultation that they feel the treatment should not go ahead, then they should not continue.

Should I include details of a client's health with regards to COVID-19 in my Online Consultation?

Client Consultations Cards should evidence the pre-treatment safety check questions / answers, along with the client's temperature, any exemption information and note what type of PPE was worn for the treatment by therapist and client.  This is alongside all the usual consultation questions.

There are safety checks prior to performing the treatment (including full track and trace information) available to view online.

This would and should form part of the consultation process and if detailed, this would be submersible for a claim. It is less of a legal document issue, but more good practice and investing in the salon's safety for staff and clients. Many people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, or may not be showing any signs, so whilst it is great business practice it's not exhaustive as all other safety measures apply.

How long should I keep my client's Consultation Card for?

You must keep complete records of the client and the treatments given, including aftercare advice, for at least seven years after the last occasion that a treatment was given.

If a customer gets COVID-19 and blames the salon, will our insurance cover us?

Provided people are operating legally in line with Government and local authority guidelines, ABT's policy will respond to allegations of negligence against the policyholder in the same way as for alleged injuries arising from a treatment.