Guidelines for Re-Opening Healthcare Practices During COVID-19

Healthcare practitioners must ensure their patients and staff feel safe in the practice. What steps should be taken to offer a clean, sanitized, and compliant office? 

Generally, practices have already adopted protocols, such as inquiring about a patient’s covid status, including the onset of any symptoms within the last two weeks prior to their scheduled appointments, to aid in safety precautions. In this article, I would like to share some tips that are a little less well known:

  • Allowing extra time between appointments. For instance, 30 minutes would allow for thorough cleaning and reduced patient-to-patient exposure between patient visits. This would decrease the number of appointments available per day, but increase the safety for all involved (directly and indirectly). 
  • Keep the same people working at the same time. For example, physicians should always be working with the same MA or the same PA to reduce the amount of potential exposure for each person.
  • Everyone, including patients, should be wearing masks, and all the staff should be wearing gloves. Practices should offer masks to patients if they do not have their own. 
  • Ask all staff and patients if they — or someone they have been in contact with — have traveled to any of the states that are experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases. If so, they should quarantine for 14 days prior to presenting to the office.
  • Make sure that the front staff are working remotely, if possible. They can always call patients from their home offices to collect facts or schedule appointments. 
  • Reduce each patient’s time spent in the waiting room by sending forms to the patient ahead of the appointment. It is best to not have guests or visitors waiting in order to reduce the number of people in the office at the same time.
  • If a patient is required to fill out a form in person, let them keep the pen.

Please contact me with any questions you may have regarding the above.  

Stephanie J. Rodin, Esq.Stephanie J. Rodin, Esq.
Rodin Legal, P.C.
Tel: (917) 345-8972
Fax: (917) 591-4428

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