The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the way that people take care of their health. Over the past year, healthcare officials have witnessed a shift toward opting for telehealth appointments when possible, delaying elective and other procedures out of safety, and showing more concern when experiencing possible COVID-related respiratory symptoms.
As healthcare facilities gear up for reopening their doors for more elective procedures and general practice in the months ahead, these are a few of the things leaders must keep in mind.
Here are a few ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at your healthcare facility.
Emphasizing Telehealth Appointments When Possible
Telehealth allows patients to get the basic care they need without coming into actual contact with others. Additionally, with more and more facilities moving toward reopening, telehealth allows providers to check patients for possible COVID-19 symptoms to the best of their ability before they come in for a procedure.
With the federal government, state Medicaid programs and private insurers now offering reimbursement for telehealth programs, healthcare providers should consider this their first option in providing much-needed care to their community.
Implementing a Testing Plan for Incoming Patients
Although telehealth has grown by leaps and bounds since the start of the pandemic, there are some areas where it still falls short. In these cases, patients will have to come in for in-person treatments and procedures.
A survey conducted by Deloitte in June 2020 found that COVID testing was the biggest area that healthcare leaders wanted to strengthen before resuming postponed procedures. Implementing a pragmatic COVID testing plan for in-person patients will limit the risk of transmission within the facility.
Consider having patients tested within 72 hours before their procedure and then self-isolating for the remainder of the time. Note that this initiative will require coordinating with local testing sites as well as educating patients on the guidelines to follow before their procedure.
Maintaining CDC Public Health Guidelines
Many reopened facilities have already incorporated these guidelines, but it’s important to reassess each facility’s plan against the latest guidelines from federal and local government officials.
Healthcare leaders will want to regulate the number of people in the facility at all times. Limit the number of visitors to those that are absolutely needed for patient care and restrict them from visiting areas they are not supposed to.
Have visitors and caregivers maintain a physical distance of six feet or more as much as possible and enforce the wearing of face masks at all times. Put up signs throughout the facility reminding people of public health best practices.
On the facility side, make sure that the facility is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected regularly, especially high-traffic areas and surfaces. Leadership teams will also want to conduct regular assessments of their safety plan to see where improvements can be made.
Champion: Taking the Next Step in Patient Care
Patients will want to come in for their in-person procedures as soon as it’s safe to do so, especially if those treatments are critical to maintaining their health.
Reduce the risk of transmission in healthcare facilities with Champion’s new Transmission Barrier. This new accessory can be easily installed on Champion chairs from the Classic, Ascent, Ascent II, and Alō lines and can also be moved to any position as needed by caregivers.
Learn more about Champion’s Transmission Barrier here.