How to Reopen Your Practice Safely during COVID ?
If you’re a medical office, chances are your patients are desperately in need you to reopen during the coronavirus. While hospitals continue being inundated with patients, it is the private medical practice that serves as a way to treat other ailments and continue providing medical assistance to those in need.
At Pipeline Medical, in addition to streamlining medical supply, we want to ensure that you continue offering the same great service to your patients in this time of need.
1. Restock PPE and Stay Updated on the Latest Shortages:
Since the onset of the coronavirus, it is not just surgeons and medical practitioners who have turned to PPE. Every office, school, retail shop, and restaurant is now utilizing items, which once were allocated strictly for medical personnel. Due to this severe increase in demand, it is now more important than ever to ensure you have enough personal protective equipment for your staff and your patients.
The FDA, for the first time in history has created two lists pertaining to PPE. The first is the PPE shortage list. This clearly indicates PPE items that are running short right now and their expected date of replenishment.
The second list is a shorter one of discontinued PPE items or the PPE discontinuance list.
2. Schedule Appointments Farther Apart
Reopening can get overwhelming. With many people home quarantining or practicing social distancing, you’ll need to pace your appointments with greater intervals of time.
Do not keep space for overlaps. Get to know the diagnosis beforehand so that appointments may be streamlined.
3. Consider Nixing the Waiting Room
Take a look at your office setup. In order to create minimal overlap and distance between patients – get rid of the waiting area. If possible, allow patients to wait in separate examination rooms the moment they enter. They’ve waited so many months to see you – they should be able to get in right on time to see their physician.
4. Outline Safety Measures and Emergency PPE Kits
Communicate the importance of safety measures through posters, via email and even on the phone with patients and staff alike. Common practices such as wearing a mask have now become prevalent in most cities. In a doctor’s office, it is imperative.
Your safety instructions should clearly outline a path for the patient and their caregivers to follow. Make the entry, screening, and exit as simple as possible to avoid any conflicts.
Several plastic surgeons, urgent care units and private practices have stocked up on PPE for patients. This includes everything from non-medical 3-ply masks to KN95s and similar. In case your patients or their caregivers enter the facility without the proper PPE, you can always offer it to them.
5. Coronavirus Testing
Finally, if it makes sense, do consider starting a COVID19 testing on premises. In addition to diagnosing patients, this additional service will provide a much-needed service on site. Equipment like Genesiq Q16 is classified as moderately complex and CLIA approved, allowing you to conduct a PCR testing and analysis with a very small footprint.
Keep yourself updated on the legal and local implications of reopening during COVID19. If you have any further questions, feel free to drop us a note.