We’re a few months into the COVID-19 outbreak and each day we’re becoming more educated on how to combat the spread of the virus. Of course, a big part of preventing the spread is social distancing, which could make patients wary to come into your office. However, people still need treatment and they need to know they’ll be safe from infection when visiting your facility.
Here’s what you can do to protect your patients:
The latest news about COVID-19 can be found on just about every news outlet. Make sure you are keeping up with all developments as they are announced. Also, be sure to pay special attention to any announcements from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and White House Coronavirus Task Force. The more informed you are, the better you’ll be able to keep your staff and patients safe.
The easiest way to make your patients feel safe is to ensure your entire staff is equally as educated as you. Keep them up to date on the latest news and make sure they are following guidelines to keep your clinic sanitary.
- Have the knowledge to identify symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
- Assess and restock disinfectant supplies on a regular schedule (hand sanitizer, wipes, etc.).
- Frequently wash hands, especially before and after working with patients.
- Regularly disinfect all surfaces in the facility.
- Know it’s ok to stay home if they’re feeling sick.
Communicate with Patients
Patients will be following COVID-19 developments closely, but they won’t know what you’re doing to keep your facility sanitary. A good place to start would be sending out an email communicating that you’re still seeing patients and that you’ll go through with any scheduled appointments if the patient feels comfortable enough to come in. Additionally, you can post notices around your clinic detailing the efforts you’re making to keep the facility disinfected.
Take Precautionary Measures
Most importantly, you want to make your patients feel protected while they’re visiting you. This can be difficult to do in this time of uncertainty, but showing an effort has been made can go a long way.
Here’s what you can do:
- Limit seating in your waiting areas and make sure seats are spaced three to six feet apart.
- Put out hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for patient use.
- Clean tables, counters, magazine racks, door knobs, etc. regularly.
- Allow patients to wait outside or in their car, if possible.
- Wear gloves and facemasks when seeing patients.
- Thoroughly wipe down examination rooms after each patient appointment.
Explore Telehealth Alternatives
Lastly, it may be a good time to explore treatment methods that require minimal human interaction. There are a variety of digital hearing tests available that allow the patient to go through a hearing examination on their own. For more comprehensive needs, there are full-on remote audiology systems that come equipped with everything you need to perform a fully battery of tests remotely.
e3 is here to support you during this time of uncertainty. We are accepting new service appointments and are honoring all scheduled appointments. If you have an upcoming appointment and would like to reschedule, please contact your local e3 office ASAP.