Welcome back to our Practice
The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in ways we could never have imagined. Many things have changed. One thing has remained constant in our office: our commitment to our patients’ safety and health. Our office has long been recognized for our individual and personal attention to patients. We will still treat patients with respect to their personal needs and concerns, but we now take care of them even safer.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. If you are an existing patient, you probably noticed this during visits to our office. Our infection control protocols have always been high and established so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about additional infection control protocols we are following in our practice to keep patients and staff safe as a result of the pandemic.
Since the Coronavirus COVID-19 is a novel (new) virus, additional infection control procedures are now being required. Our office is closely following all the recommendations made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American Dental Association (ADA) and our local regulatory and health authorities concerning Coronavirus COVID-19. Our office continues to closely monitor any changes in recommendations so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each of those agencies recommendations.
To further reduce risk, the CDC and the ADA have recommended asking a number of questions to patients when they are scheduling and also when they arrive at the office. Based on the answers to those screening questions, we will determine how and when to best treat our patients for the health and safety for our patients and the staff. That being said, we are following the Universal Protection Guidelines to protect all patients.
We are frequently asked “How are you keeping us safe during the Covid 19 pandemic?”
We have made signification safety changes to help protect our patients and our staff:
• Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That could mean that you might be offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment. This is for your safety.
• Some portions of your appointment can be performed through the use of teledentisty and a virtual consultation. This is an attempt to minimize the time you spend in the office and away from work and other activities. You can ask for a virtual consultation.
• In order to safely distance individuals, we are asking that patients come by themselves to their appointments or with just one parent or guardian if an escort is needed. Individuals who are elderly, and/or persons with medical problems or persons who are showing signs or symptoms of illness must not accompany patients to their appointments.
• Special appointment considerations will be made for patients who are elderly, and/or persons with medical concerns that put them at risk for infection. Please inform us if this is your situation.
• Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask you the above mentioned screening questions. You will be asked those same questions again when you arrive in the office. You should know that office staff will be asked the same screening questions every day when they arrive at the office.
• The office staff and patients will be asked to stay home if they are sick, have a fever or have symptoms that are characteristic of COVID 19 Coronavirus infection.
• For your appointment, we will ask that when you arrive 15 minutes before your appointment, park on the street outside the building, and call the office. To keep you safe, the office staff will let you know when you can come up to the office. The office staff is doing their do their best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting time.
• Masks are required for all persons entering the building. If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided to you. Anyone coming into the office must wear a mask and follow strict cough and sneeze protocols.
• Temperatures will be taken on everyone who comes in the office. Office staff temperatures will also be taken twice a day. Any patient with a temperature over 100.4 will be asked to reschedule their appointment. Staff members with a temperature over 100.4 will be asked to go home.
• Non-invasive oxygen saturation determination will be taken when you arrive at the office.
• Hand hygiene is very important. We have hand sanitizer. Office staff is following strict hand hygiene protocols. We will ask you to use hand sanitizer when you arrive at the office. You will also find hand sanitizer throughout in the office for you to use as needed.
• You may notice that our reception room no longer offers newspapers or magazines since they are difficult to clean and disinfect.
• We have all the Personal Protective Equipment needed to keep our staff and patients safe. You may not recognize us but we are smiling under all the gear.
• Our disinfection and sterilization procedures meet or exceed the standard of care and CDC guidelines.
• We have initiated stricter air purification protocols. The surgical suites have been designed after hospital operating room models. These rooms are negative pressure rooms. Both the office design and the air purification protocols follow or exceed CDC guidelines.
• Hospital grade disinfection protocols are being followed for of all surfaces and frequently used items (desk tops, chairs, doorknobs etc.) in between patients as recommended by the CDC.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we have taken to keep you and every patient safe in our practice. Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Please view and share our latest COVID-19 Symptom Comparison Chart with your friends and family.
For further information, including measures to keep yourself healthy, visit the following links:
Steps When Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html