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 will continue to monitor the CDC guidance and rely upon our physician leaders’ judgement to determine when it is best for each specific practice site to reopen and how to expand services in a phased approach.
We have adopted numerous safety procedures in accordance with the CDC and local health organizations’ guidelines. These procedures include:
- Performing daily temperature checks for all staff members and patients
- Asking screening questions for all patients, staff and other persons that enter the office
- Rescheduling patients who exhibit symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 and ensuring ill or exposed staff follow appropriate self-quarantine measures
- Instituting social distancing protocols, such as limiting provider schedules and reducing waiting room capacity; in some office settings, patients may wait in their vehicles after check-in and then 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
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.
To ensure we are following the social-distancing recommendations, our practices have instituted several procedures:
- Limiting our provider schedules
- Limiting the waiting room seating capacity and in some sites providing a virtual waiting room where patients can wait in their car until they are ready to be seen
- Reconfiguring work stations and patient and staff flow patterns throughout the office
- Staggering our staffs’ work shifts and breaks
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.