Since the beginning of March 2020, healthcare organizations across the nation have had to close their doors or set restrictions on the number of in-person visits to their practice.
The coronavirus pandemic has kept many non-urgent patients unable to visit with their medical providers so that we as a nation can slow down the spread of COVID-19. Although the pandemic continues to unfold, many organizations are considering opening their doors once again. In order to prevent another spike in the coronavirus, providers should follow these 5 strategies for a safe and successful medical practice reopening.
Safety Tips for Medical Practice Reopening
The American Medical Association Detailed several guidelines for physicians transitioning to their medical practice reopening in a document titled “A Physician Practice Guide to Reopening.” Below are 5 strategies for a safe and successful medical practice reopening.
1) Comply with Government Regulations
Depending on the state you operate in, providers should adhere to all state and federal guidelines for medical practice reopening. Most state legislatures have laid out some kind of response and plan for how to reopen. Following these guidelines will help prevent the development of new cases and protect your staff and patients against the coronavirus.
2) Get Your Practice on the Same Page
Making sure your entire practice is on the same page with your plan for your medical practice reopening is essential for a smooth transition. Sit your entire team down and detail how you expect the reopen to go, how they should respond in certain situations, and how they should do their best to keep everyone protected during this time. Educate your staff on the proper usage of medical equipment so that you are minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19 while also rationing supplies that is hard to come by. The more prepared your entire team is for your medical practice reopening, the smoother it will go and the safer your patients will be.
3) Take Small Steps
The biggest mistake a practice can make during this time is to move too fast or open too quickly. Providers should consider a soft medical practice reopening, where they visit with fewer patients in dispersed time increments. This ensures that fewer patients are in your building at one time, lessening the chance of person-to-person contact with the coronavirus.
A soft opening also means that your entire staff does not need to be there all at one time. Staff members that are set up to work remotely should continue to do so as long as possible. This could include your full-time administrative staff.
4) Limit non-patient visitors
Limiting the number of individuals in your practice as much as possible is essential for your medical practice reopening. This means limiting the number of vendors or suppliers you allow in the building, but also a patient’s support system.
If a patient brings someone with them, advise the non-patient to remain in their vehicle and use their phone to call into the visit or some other type of communication alternative. This way, your practice is only allowing patients into the building and minimizing the spread of COVID-19 wherever possible.
5) Screen Patients with Telehealth
Lastly, providers who wish to minimize the spread and growth of COVID-19 during their medical practice reopening should utilize a quality telehealth solution to screen patients. Telehealth visits are a great opportunity for providers to quickly screen patients who might be exhibiting COVID-positive symptoms. By screening patients with telehealth, providers can minimize the number of symptomatic individuals entering their building, keeping everyone safe during this time.
To learn more about a solution that can help you have a safe and successful medical practice reopening, click here.