Public health experts are slowly relaxing restrictions. This is now making it possible for strategically open practices and allow doctors to see patients. At this point, you should be planning a well-organized reopening strategy.
Lucky for you we have just the pointers to get your practice running well and organized, ready to welcome your patients old and new.
Timing is everything
Before you set anything in motion you need to know when you can open. Yes, there is progress in you being able to open but you need to track any updates on the pandemic.
This is important to make sure;
- You cut the risk of new community infections.
- You know what kind of safety measures to put in place should you open.
- You equip your practice with the necessary testing, preventative, and technical support needed.
Check for any governmental guidelines you need to know
Most states have put in place guidelines that need to be adhered to before you can open your practice. The white house published guidelines for Opening up America. Other states have put in place their respective guidelines. Find out the regulations in your state and make the necessary changes in your practice.
Put a plan in place
Sounds so obvious but we can’t stress enough the need to have pre-opening planning. This could be the success or failure of your practice.
- Pen your scheduled opening day.
- Secure the needed personal protective equipment for you and your team.
- Do an inventory of your medical equipment and stocks and make the necessary purchases and repairs.
- Put in place an emergency response protocol to handle any possible case of COVID-19 that you might encounter.
Do a pilot run
Opening your practice should be done tactfully. Consider opening in steps. Taking a few appointments at a time will help you identify any physical challenges that may arise. Categorize your appointment to those that can be handled from the practice and those that can be handled online.
In line with this make a list of the team members that you will absolutely need physically present in the practice. The rest may continue working from home. Reduce contact as much as possible in the starting days.
Put in place safety measures
Safety is the most important thing your practice should focus on. To make sure your practice has safety measures that minimize contact you might want to adopt the following measures.
- Improve your patient scheduling.
Make sure appointments are well staggered so as to have as few patients as possible in your practice at any given time.
- Have separate segregated waiting areas.
Have a waiting room that is well ventilated and equipped for any patient showing signs of respiratory infection and a separate one for those without.
- Limit patient companions.
If there is no need for a companion then a patient should be present alone. In the case of minors, a single parent may accompany a child to your practice.
- Basic safety measures are a must.
- i) Patients are to have their temperature checked before entering your practice.
- ii) Sanitizer shall be administered on ambition and as the patient leaves.
iii) Cloth face-covering masks are to be worn at all times.
Train your team
Your medical team plays the most important role of all. They are first in line to meet patients. Your team should know the basic health requirements and be able to properly communicate them to your patients.
Establish dedicated work stations to minimize contact with your own team. A dedicated station will ensure that only one team member will be handling and cleaning their own stations.
Put in proper protocols for shared spaces (toilets, kitchens, and vending machines) to make your practice a safe haven for patients and team members.
Screen patients before they visit
Before a patient can even confirm their appointment with your practice you need to make sure they are indeed free on COVID-19 and do not show any symptoms.
If there is a need to have a patient physically visit your practice then your team must carry out the following checks 24 hours before:
- Make sure the patients meet your practice’s ambition requirements.
- Make sure they haven’t traveled to any high-risk areas.
- Screen the companions a patient brings.
Visitors should be controlled.
For the patient, this will seem very hard but it is worthwhile in the end. To limit contact and possible infections you will need to set up a way for patients. Encourage visitors to use online platforms to communicate with their loved ones.
Vendors, service providers and anyone who is not a patient or legal companion should not be allowed in the practice. Repair and clean-up crews should work outside the practice normal hours.
Make sure your insurance is up-to-date.
Congress has put in place policies to protect clinicians from liability. As you open you need to ensure that your team is under this protection. Make sure you get a better understanding of any legal issues that may arise as you reopen now.
Patient’s eligibility and coverage is also an issue of concern. As patients roll in you need to make sure they still have insurance cover and it still in effect. As the pandemic hit many were either laid off or have had their income flow affected.
Get in touch with your legal team.
As you return to work make sure you are liable in any way to your team or to your patients. Any changes in contracts or back pay need to be addressed before you open the shop.
Making sure your bases are covered will ensure that when you open your practice with little to no problems. You will have a seamless interaction with your patients.