Preparing your staff and practice for COVID-19

In Community Health by admin

Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

Design a COVID-19 office management plan that includes patient flow, triage, treatment and design. Ensure adherence to standard precautions, including airborne precautions and use of eye protection. Cross-train staff for all essential office and medical functions.

Physician and practice preparedness

  • Plan for cross-coverage with other health care professionals in your community and participate in local hospital planning exercises.
  • Identify materials and supplies required for care to be delivered during an outbreak or pandemic, and suppliers that can provide those materials. Order appropriate materials and supplies.
  • Contact representatives at your office’s waste-disposal service regarding plans for appropriate waste disposal so that they can prepare for an increased amount of waste materials. At this time, there is no evidence to support the need of different waste management protocols for facilities caring for patients with COVID-19.
  • Stay informed. Visit your state and local department of health’s website daily or develop a reliable method for routine epidemiologic monitoring. Make appropriate connections with local and state health department staff.
  • Become knowledgeable about available testing and treatment as that information becomes available. This should include, general recommendations on COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Work with your state and local health departments on diagnostic testing protocols and procedures.
  • Ensure that you and your staff are familiar with specific public health reporting practices legally required in your area. Familiarize staff with procedures on transporting patients from your office to the hospital or other facility if required.
  • Post signage in appropriate languages at the entrance and inside the office to alert all patients with respiratory symptoms and fever to notify staff immediately.
  • Post signage in appropriate languages with pictures to teach/remind all patients about correct respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. Specifically, they should cough and sneeze into a tissue (which then should be properly discarded), or into the upper sleeve. Remind patients to use appropriate hand-washing technique.

Find more physician resources here

Information on preparing your practice, including COVID-19 education for your staff, triage and patient flow systems, the referral or transfer of patients, waste disposal, a checklist of required equipment and supplies, and much more are available on the MSSC website at MSSConline.org.