America’s medical providers deliver the best care possible and are trusted sources of health information for their patients and the community. With the unprecedented spread of COVID-19, medical facilities must use proper sanitization measures and work creatively to contain the virus. Below are helpful tips to help keep patients and staff safe, and empower patients to protect their own health.
Leveraging telemedicine whenever possible is the best way to protect patients and staff from COVID-19. There are many free software programs like Google Hangouts you can use to communicate with staff or follow-up with remote patients. Other paid software options may be now available for free because of current circumstances.
When telemedicine is not possible, taking simple actions can help to reduce the risk of spread and keep people safe.
Follow Proper Sanitation Measures Frequently
- Limit unnecessary visitors
- Always wear disposable gloves.
- Remove all re-usable cups and replace with single-use, disposable ones.
- Provide ample supplies for guests, including tissues, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Wipe and spray counters and machines with disinfectant spray often.
- Place chairs 3–6 feet apart if possible.
- If your office has toys, magazines, or other shareable objects, it may be best remove them during this time.
- For iPads or other charting tools, make sure these are used individually or frequently cleaned if shared.
- Offer curbside delivery for medications, etc.
- Post visual alerts (signs, posters) at entrances and in strategic places providing instruction on hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette
Depending on the risk of exposure, you may want to consider implementing proper eyewear, facemarks, and isolation gown policies into your facility protocols.
This is a world-wide issue, and it is important to follow short-term instructions to reduce the spread long-term. Follow all CDC recommendations, and regulations of local, state, and federal governments.
Why is this so important? In every model done by top research groups, the BEST case scenarios were still showing over 100,000 current cases of COVID-19. Here’s an educational video on why containing the spread is so important. (Spoiler Alert: it will save over 2 million people!)
Many people are living in fear and uncertainty right now. As a medical professional, you can help make sure people know the truthful facts. Empower them to take care of themselves and others. Avoid being seen as opportunistic. Notify patients the waiting room has been cleaned. Offer to assist the elderly in any way possible, even if it’s just offering to pick up their groceries off the clock!
Printable Resources to Prepare Your Practice
In addition to following best practices to protect your facility against COVID-19, there are many printable guides you can share with staff members or post in your facility. For the full printable guide, see the CDC’s Clinic COVID-19 Preparedness Chart. Stay safe and informed!