Certain parts of the country are preparing to reopen after weeks of enforced shutdowns due to the Coronavoius pandemic. As we open there are many things to consider, first and foremost is the health of our patients and staff. Here we present a quick round up of 10 things to consider when reopening to protect yourself, your staff and your patients.
- Staff communication about safety – Write up a plan for safety and then communicate with staff to set the mood and expectations about the new safety procedures.
- Address staff concerns – Have an open forum for Q&A and to address any concerns from your staff about safety and your expectations.
- Patient communication about safety – Tell them about your use of PPEs and address fears and concerns they might have. Have an email developed for patients focused on safety, which links to a document that explains your COVID-19 safety measures. Also think about in-office signage.
- Put a Covid Q&A on your website – And then promote it through email and social media. Also make sure your safety procedures are outlined on the website.
- Staggering Appointments – Make sure you do not overload your office and staff. People will understand that it will take some time to get them back into the office because you are taking the proper precautions.
- Patient check-in changes and restricted office entry – If your waiting room is closed (it should be) then explain how the check in process will work moving forward. Who can be in the office and when? Spouses, friends, caregivers, and parents should wait outside. They can bring patients to the front door and hand-off to tech for the actual appointment. No chairside loitering.
- Reduce surface areas and touching – Use a plexiglass separator for the front desk and remove all takeaway material like displays, models, brochures and flyers.
- Resupplying – Any supplies should be mailed whenever possible or a safe handoff made during appointments or outside of the office.
- Sanitization procedures in place – Have explicit procedures for sanitization and make sure staff are responsible for it. Make one member of your staff the sanitization lead. Communicate your plan to patients.
- Virtual appointments – Continue the use of virtual appointments whenever feasible to limit patient traffic.
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