As the world waits for a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s clear that medical practices need to adapt to the times. You have already implemented new protocols, but these tips can still help. In general, your front staff should be equipped with the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) to safely welcome your patients. Check in with individual staff to confirm that they have access to the PPE they feel they require for their job. The waiting room will also need some adjustments to accommodate current CDC recommendations, which includes staying six feet apart and reducing the number of people in a room. Have your front desk staff ask patients if they feel safe with the clinic procedures and social distancing policies. Scheduling-wise, the front staff may also have to reduce or change their staggering scheduling to ensure that their waiting rooms are not too crowded. Then, as patients come in and out of the office, they should also be routinely sanitizing the waiting room, washing their hands, etc. Routine practices not only service to clean and sanitize but to serve as a constant reminder for staff and patients to be vigilant.
To effectively organize these extensive tips, here are 3 key sections.
Your office should already have a system for appointment reminders whether that’s through email, text message, or phone. Include your new procedures in the appointment reminder so that patients know what to expect. For example, they should wear a mask, avoid large personal bags, and arrive alone unless they need to have a guardian with them. Also, ensure your reminders have clear advisement not to come to their appointment if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 or they feel ill.
When the patient arrives, a system should be in place for following safety protocol. The patient’s temperature should be checked, they should wash their hands with sanitizer upon arrival, wear their masks at all times, and adhere to the six foot distancing in the waiting room. Your offices should follow structured screening questionnaires; does the patient live with someone who has traveled in the past 2 weeks? Have they come into contact with anyone with a fever in the last 2 weeks? Do they have any common COVID-19 symptoms? If necessary, they should also sign a waiver at this time to acknowledge the risks that come with visiting a medical office during the pandemic.
To ensure your office stays open, all offices should anticipate and plan for exposure to COVID-19. Having these procedures in plan will help protect your staff and patients, but a virus of this type can be hard to detect in some people. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, all staff should get tested and appointments rescheduled to allow time for results. Patients who have visited in a certain timeframe should be informed and advised to also get tests.
By introducing these new procedures and staying consistent, medical offices will be better prepared for these difficult times. If you’re in need of expert medical billing that will increase your overall revenue, the experts at Outsource Receivables Inc. can help.