Important Information Regarding the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
Our practice is dedicated to the care of the people in our community. We strive daily to exceed our patient’s expectations with each given opportunity. As we proceed with care during the global pandemic, we do so with additional and evolving policies and protocols that build on our already exceptional focus on safety and infection control. We are staying current on all the developments, science, and guidelines for COVID-19. We are aware of the possibility of the SARS-CoV-2 virus being present within our offices in the air and on surfaces despite best practices to mitigate such viruses. Per our use of standard precautions, we continue to assume everyone is infected with harmful pathogens. Considering SARS-CoV-2 is a novel pathogen, we have implemented additional training with numerous administrative controls, engineering controls, work practice controls, and PPE additions to protect both you and us. The health of our patients and employees is our highest priority.
While far from a complete list of the adjustments we’ve made during the pandemic, here are a few highlights:
- Patients will be triaged remotely when feasible to reduce in-office consultation time and/or appointments
- Patients will be screened prior to and upon presentation to the office for COVID-19 signs/symptoms/exposure risk
- All doctors and staff will self-screen for COVID-19 signs/symptoms/exposure risk prior to and upon presentation to the office
- While in the office the patients, doctors, and staff will maintain at least six feet of separation when feasible; perform regular hand hygiene; and wear face coverings to disrupt the mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2
- The waiting room will not be utilized for waiting for appointments. If certain circumstances require patient(s) to hold in the waiting room for a short period of time, a minimum of six feet of separation will be maintained between parties.
- Patients will be asked to not bring companions into the office unless absolutely necessary. If so, the companion will be required to follow the same protective measures as the patient including use of a face covering and screening for COVID-19.
- During direct patient care, doctors and staff will don and doff PPE (including gloves, gowns/aprons, masks/respirators, goggles, face shields) properly
- Reusable PPE will be decontaminated after use
- Decontaminated PPE will be handled and stored with best practices to prevent recontamination prior to reuse
- If there is a shortage of PPE due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will follow best practices to protect patients and staff including, but not limited to, the incorporation of strategies and options offered by the CDC for optimizing supplies of masks, respirators, eye protection, and gowns
- Regular decontamination of surfaces throughout the office will be performed throughout the day including between patients
- An air purifier (with a HEPA filter) will be placed in each operatory utilized for direct patient care and in common areas
- If a patient removes their face covering for care, they will be given an oral rinse shortly thereafter to reduce any possible intraoral viral load. The oral rinse used will be known to kill enveloped viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and safe for patient use as an oral rinse.
- Best practices will be followed for reducing the amount and area of spread of aerosol and respiratory droplets from a patient during patient care including, but not limited to, use of evacuation, Isovac isolation, drapes/barriers, and air purification
- Patients receiving care at our office will be instructed to contact us if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or develop signs/symptoms of COVID-19 within the following 14 days
- Patients will be informed that we will attempt to contact them two days after in-office care to check on their status and to ask if they’ve developed signs/symptoms of COVID-19
We hope the sharing of some of our efforts helps comfort you during such an uncomfortable time. We look forward to caring for you.