The world hasn’t seen a pandemic with the impact of Covid-19 in over a century. The level of public fear has never been so high. A combination of unknown elements due to the virus itself and the amount of conflicting information available for mass consumption via social media and the internet has many people concerned.
The healthcare industry is at the forefront of the Coronavirus fight. Patients that need treatment are becoming fearful of making routine visits to their practitioner’s offices under the current social distancing restrictions. So, how do you, as a doctor, make your patients more comfortable during their appointment?
It takes great care to understand and address the real and perceived threats surrounding the Coronavirus Pandemic. With public attitudes ranging from frustration at tampered rights to aggravated fear of infection, handling your patient load can be tricky. The best way to deal with each patient is on an individual level while following all outlined precautions. Companies like Sterifre.com are working together with doctors and clinics to ensure that facilities are safe and clean to treat patients. For your part, here are a few suggestions that can help you make your patients more comfortable during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
An open and understanding approach to each patient’s needs and concerns must be adopted. Make it clear to each patient that you are doing everything that you can to protect everyone. While setting an appointment, share your current Coronavirus protocols with your patients to let them know what to expect from their visit.
Everyone in your office should be proactive in wearing the right personal protective equipment (PPE). Make it mandatory that all staff wear appropriate masks at all times, especially when dealing directly with patients. Adopt a policy that all patients must also wear PPE before they will be permitted to enter the office area.
You can offer virtual office visits to any patients that do not require a physical examination during their appointment. Using online apps like Skype or Zoom, you can have a face to face meeting with patients that prefer to stay at home rather than come into your office. For patients that are concerned about infection or who are under “shelter at home” restrictions, this kind of visit can relieve stress and lighten your in-office patient calendar.
Regular hand washing should be mandated for all office staff. Signs and reminders should be posted around your office to remind patients and staff that they should be washing their hands between every patient. Chairs, examination beds, door handles, and counters should be wiped down with an appropriate disinfectant in between each patient.
With the current social distancing guidelines recommending a safe space of six feet between people, your regular office routine will be affected. Limit the number of patients that can be seen in a day to a minimum. Your waiting room should be rearranged so that there is enough space between waiting patients’ chairs. You can even have your patients call in from the parking lot to announce their arrival before entering the building.
We all have to work together to battle this pandemic. As doctors and health care professionals, your patients are relying on you to set the standards of safety. Listen to your patients, follow the current guidelines, and adopt a proactive office routine to protect your staff and patients in the best ways that you can.
This infographic was created by Specialdocs, a concierge medicine marketing group