Reopening medical and healthcare clinics in the COVID-19 pandemic relies on managers prioritizing safety, smart policies, and transmission prevention.
Whether you are a dentist, doctor, alternative medicine practitioner, acupuncturist, or chiropractor, the patient comes first. To ensure they feel comfortable and safe, there are recommendations to consider and implement.
Whenever possible, maintain a two-metre separation between individuals in your clinic. Re-arrange seating, appointment scheduling, and more to ensure distancing can be upheld.
Rethink the distance between desks, displays, and workspaces. Create more distance when possible. Most clinics are tight spaces and so this can be a challenge – especially in physician offices. Do what you can to spread things out a little more.
Employees should be on a regular schedule of hand-washing. Give them time in a shift to wash their hands and/or use some hand sanitizer. Other than keeping a two-metre distance, washing one’s hands is the best way to practice COVID-19 safety when reopening a clinic.
Hand Sanitizer Availability
Ensure a hand sanitizer gel or liquid is available for patients to use. Encourage patients to take some when they enter or exit the building. Healthcare settings cannot have enough sanitizer available so be sure to stick up and offer some to any who ask. Put it in an easily-accessible location with a sign to indicate what to do with it.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Set a regular schedule to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Do this at least once every day and more often in areas with higher traffic. In a medical clinic, there’s an above-average likelihood of transfer and so a clinic manager wants to ensure they’re using disinfectant cleaning wipes regularly to go over surfaces.
In a medical clinic, PPE should be provided to workers who request it. Many clinics have established policies making PPE such as disposable face masks or reusable face masks as mandatory for both practitioners and patients. Due to the high-risk nature of the setting, you may wish to use a similar policy. For patients who do not have a face mask on entering, consider providing them with one as opposed to preventing their entry altogether.
To reduce the likelihood of people having to wait outside or having too many patients in the medical clinic, stagger your appointments. Also, consider staggering work hours in the same manner. This may cut down on the number of patients you can see which is why virtual appointments can continue to offer some benefit.
For more information on how you can practice COVID-19 safety when reopening your clinic, Lierre.ca has the medical supplies, PPE, and sanitizer you need for clinic reopening. Reopen safely. Be smart and proactive. Medical clinics are in an unenviable position but patients will thank you for the precautions being taken.