Safely Treat Patients: The Importance of Social Distancing Solutions for Medical Offices

While many healthcare providers have shifted to telemedicine during COVID-19, the nature of routine check-ups and elective procedures require in-person interactions. As medical and dental offices open back up across the country, there are safeguards that can be implemented to keep patients, providers and staff healthy. Here are some ways this can be achieved.

From the Outside

Give patients peace of mind before they even walk through the door. Medical practices can implement policies such as temperature checks, mandatory face masks, visits by appointment only and text notification when the patient is ready to be seen. Use signage and window clings to explain new policies and, if applicable, new hours of operation. For further protection and enhanced peace of mind, temporary outdoor curbside check-in stations could be deployed to further limit exposure.

From the Inside

If patients must wait inside a reception area, take a tip from the restaurant industry to create an indoor environment that keeps patients at least six feet apart. This can be done with signage that indicates which seats can or cannot be used, partitions and barriers around seating, and floor graphics that direct patients where they need to go and indicate where they should stand if they must form a line. While separating medical office staff from patients through permanent plexiglass partitions was common even before COVID-19, temporary sneeze guards can also be easily installed for a quick fix.

During the Visit

Even though PPE has always been used by healthcare providers, additional protection may be necessary to put patients at ease and enhance safety. Policies requiring that staff and providers wear surgical or N95 masks and even face shields throughout the duration of their workday have been implemented at healthcare facilities from coast to coast. Additionally, installing pop-up, contact-free hand sanitizing stations can further encourage personal hygiene.

Updates to the medical office environment is just one way healthcare providers, staff and patients can stay safe and healthy. Keeping a pulse on the CDC’s social distancing guidelines will help inform these decisions. For easy solutions to assist with COVID-19 compliance efforts, download our Healthcare Blueprint for Success. Review all of our social distancing solutions — including print, partitions and barriers — to mitigate risk during these uncertain times.

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