How to Create a Safe Environment at Your Practice
The country has begun opening back up amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and businesses all over are preparing to have customers coming through their front door once again. But just because we are feeling a sense of normalcy, does not mean that necessary precautions don’t need to be set in place at your practice in order to ensure patient safety, along with the safety of yourself and your staff.
An essential part of patient management is being sure that your patients or clients feel safe whenever they come into your office for an appointment.
You’re excited to welcome back current patients and meet new ones and so are we! So we’ve come up with some helpful tips to make sure your practice has covered all its ground and check all the boxes on your list of patient safety.
From the time a patient opens the front door to the time they leave your office, we can help you establish a clean, safe environment for all. Let’s get started.
Communicating With Your Staff
Both you and your trusty staff will be servicing patients, so it’s just as important for them to be prepared and safe as well. Your team members should have PPE (personal protective equipment) so they are safe when they come in contact with the patients that come in.
If any of your team feels symptomatic, ask them to stay home, and if they develop symptoms while at work, send them home immediately so that they can self-quarantine. Highlight the importance of washing their hands, using hand sanitizer, and being conscious not to touch anything unless it’s necessary.
When your staff has everything they need to provide a safe experience for all patients, now it’s time to start booking in-person appointments.
Communicating With Patients Before They Arrive
When one of your patients has booked a visit to come to your office, you should be communicating with them about the steps that you’re taking and the steps that they will need to take before coming in.
You should inform your patients about symptoms of the COVID-19 virus and caution them to either reschedule or consider a telemedicine appointment if you offer them at your practice and they are feeling under the weather.
You can do this with a quick phone call or reminder email so they understand what their options are if they are displaying any symptoms of the Coronavirus. It would be a good idea to also discourage bringing non-patient visitors with them to their appointment as well to limit the number of people that are in and out of your office.
Once your patient has assured you and your staff that they are healthy and ready for their scheduled appointment, now it’s time to prepare your office.
Read More: How to Utilize Telemedicine Services at Your Practice
Preparing Patient Areas and Waiting Rooms
Personalized images ideas: can we mock up an image of seats in a waiting room with space in between them and a sign that says either 6 feet part or social distancing?
Before you start allowing patients back in, you’ll need plenty of supplies to sanitize and maintain a certain standard of cleanliness at your practice. The supplies you’ll need are as followed:
- Disinfectant wipes
- Hand sanitizer (more than one bottle)
- Soap in every restroom in your office
- Trash cans so patients can dispose of used items
- Plastic screens, if possible, to provide a barrier between patients and the check-in desk
You’ll need to have these supplies ready and stay consistent with restocking them so that they are available for patients before every visit.
Next, you will need to move the chairs around in the waiting areas so that they are at least six feet apart from one another and help to practice social distancing.
Try to schedule your visits apart from one another so that there is not an influx of patients in your practice at one time. Be sure to also remove any objects in your waiting room that are usually touched by more than one person, such as:
- Magazines or other reading materials
- Any snacks or bowls of treats that you normally offer
- Toys or other playthings for children
Before you welcome anyone back to your practice, use these tips to prepare your office and staff for what is to come.
When Patients Arrive
Once your patients arrive for their visit, you should have a staff member at the front door to greet them, with a mask on and you can choose to provide them with a mask if they don’t have are not already equipped with one. You can offer them hand sanitizer when they arrive as well.
Have your patients sit in one of the designated seats and wait until you call them into your office. It would be useful to have your staff inform the patients about the important safety precautions that your practice is taking to keep them safe.
After Patients Leave
Once your patients have gone, each and every surface that was touched needs to be properly cleaned. Seats, counters, door handles, card readers, etc. all need to be disinfected with the appropriate cleaners.
If you have enough supplies available, replace your mask throughout the day after coming in contact with different patients. Have common areas clean and ready to go before the next visitor arrives at your office.
Practicing Patient Safety
You want your patients to be assured that their health is being prioritized when they come to your practice for a visit. Once you have equipped your staff with the supplies they need to ensure a clean, safe environment, you’ll be able to see your patients once again.
To help your practice, we’ve created a Safety Signage Kit that you can easily download and print out to display in your office:
– Get Signage Kit for Eye Care Providers
– Get Signage Kit for Chiropractors
– Get Signage Kit for Veterinarians
With a spotless office that’s in tip-top shape, get ready to welcome even more patients for a visit and generate even more revenue for your practice.