Ask My Practice: Reopening the Practice

Question: Our medical office is getting ready to start accepting patients again and we have risk management and patient safety protocols put into place. What is the best way to let our patients know that we’ll be ready when they are?

Answer: The goal is to communicate how the practice has prepared for the safe return of patients. Patient announcements can be shared via phone, secure email, website, social media site or patient portal.

[Webinar] Patient Safety Beyond the Exam Door: Managing Your Medical Office and Staff
CAP's General Counsel Gordon Ownby will analyze real life medical malpractice claims that arise from the inner workings of the medical office. Physicians can't do it all themselves, and sometimes their office staff go beyond the scope of their duties. Mr. Ownby will show examples of why protocols, training, and staying aware of what is going on in the medical office are important to reducing risk.

In addition to a formal announcements, staff should also communicate the following to patients:

  • Staff must wear appropriate PPE and staff member temperatures are taken daily.
  • Patients must wear face coverings while in the office.
  • Patient scheduling will be staggered to maintain social distancing. Office may also offer “virtual waiting room” with patients waiting in vehicles until their appointment time.
  • A COVID-19 questionnaire must be completed by every patient. If the patient shows signs of respiratory infection or fever, take appropriate preventative measures.
  • Office cleaning and sanitization procedures follow OSHA and CDC guidelines
  • Telehealth visits are available (if this is an option for your practice).

 

Andie Tena is CAP’s Director of Practice Management Services. Questions or comments should be directed to atena@CAPphysicians.com.