1) Why have you decided to begin seeing patients again?
We have been carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation and local conditions indicate we have passed the CDC criteria for Phase 1. Therefore, we are reopening based on current federal, state and local guidelines, including medical boards and other authoritative guidance. We continue to monitor the CDC guidance on a daily basis.
2) What steps have you taken as a practice to ensure the safety of the staff and the patients?
We have adopted numerous safety procedures in accordance with the CDC and local health organizations’ guidelines. These procedures include:
- Asking screening questions for all patients and other persons that enter the office
- Rescheduling patients who exhibit symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19
- Instituting social distancing protocols
- Reconfiguring work stations
- Limiting the waiting room seating capacity
- Patients may wait in their vehicles after check-in and then are brought directly to their exam room to further reduce exposure risk
- Thoroughly sanitizing our facility in accordance with the CDC guidelines
- Offering Telehealth appointments
- Limiting visitors to those escorts required for special assistance or circumstances
3) What should patients expect on the day of the visit?
Front desk personnel will conduct screening for all patients and visitors. Patients who exhibit symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 will be rescheduled. During patient encounters, the receptionist and clinical staff will all wear a face mask and eye protection. For everyone’s safety, we request all patients and visitors to wear a cloth face covering when they arrive for and throughout their visit. We also request patients to limit the number of visitors that accompany them and, if possible, for those visitors to wait in the car while the patient is treated. We are reducing common use items such as pens, paper, magazines, iPads and other items and are utilizing verbal authorizations for registration signatures and clinical consents.
4) What are you doing to ensure the office is properly cleaned?
The safety of our patients and staff has always been our top priority. We thoroughly sanitize waiting areas and high-touch surfaces multiple times a day and our exam rooms are cleaned after each use. These cleaning protocols follow the CDC COVID-19 guidelines. We have also made hand sanitizer, paper tissues and trash cans readily available for patients and visitors.