This article originally appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of the Ontario Medical Review magazine.
by Sandra McGregor
OMA Corporate Partnerships & Programs
The year 2020 has not been easy for anyone, and at the centre of it all we have our members working under unprecedented conditions and extreme pressures. As the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and virtual office support escalated in the early days of 2020, staff at the OMA turned their attention to securing access to what was needed most.
Using a PPE Supplier Validation Checklist, the OMA vetted more than 60 businesses. As a result, members now have access to 16 verified PPE vendors through the OMA eMarketplace. In addition, we negotiated special discounted pricing with Surgo Surgical Supply, Safe Direct Medical Supply and Steripro Canada on a full range of PPE equipment and other medical supplies.
Members were also faced with clinic closures and the need to work virtually. The OMA developed a Business Continuity Planning guide to support members through this transition and OntarioMD set up virtual office tools. Through member feedback, the OMA identified a need for a telephony solution which would allow members to care for patients using personal cell phones while protecting their privacy. A unique and heavily discounted solution was provided by TELUS through their TELUS Business Connect platform. Dragon Medical, a long-standing OMA partner, found that more and more members were turning to them for support in customizing their systems. As a way to thank our members, Dragon Medical waived its support fees for all OMA members.
Memberperks® for OMA turned their attention from travel and entertainment by providing member discounts on electronics and food delivery services. Special pricing was offered from companies such as Hewlett Packard, Staples, Lenovo and HelloFreshTM, Grocery Gateway, Goodfood, and more.
As a result of the pandemic, many members were also faced with long stays away from home as they worked tirelessly in ICUs across Ontario. While many hotels closed their doors, the OMA was able to secure more than a dozen hotel offering to help in any way they could. Additional travel support was also provided by CAA who began to offer free roadside assistance to all frontline workers, even if they didn’t have a CAA membership.
As clinics slowly began to reopen, members struggled to ensure both staff and patient safety. As a result, the OMA partnered with Think Modular to provide members with thermal scanners, which provided a contactless method of detecting elevated body temperatures.
There is still much more to be done in ensuring our members’ needs are met. As the OMA Advantages program continues to expand, we encourage and invite members to help guide the search for value-added discount offerings. Please send all suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.