COVID-19 Update for Our Valued Patients
March 16, 2020 – Update for Our Valued Patients
The CDC recommends using “social distancing” whenever possible as an effective way of decreasing the likelihood of transmitting coronavirus. The agency has updated its definition of social distancing to mean “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”
With this advice in mind, we are implementing these new steps in our practice:
- We will schedule appointments to minimize possible contact with other patients in the waiting room.
- We are making video conferencing available to some patients who are able to be evaluated via smartphone, tablet or laptop computer equipped with a camera and we are actively reaching out to those patients who qualify for a telehealth visit with one of our doctors.
- We will ask patients to arrive on time for their appointments, rather than too early since that will minimize the amount of time they spend in our reception area.
- We will advise patients to maintain proper social distancing and if they are more comfortable waiting in their car, we will offer to call or text them when we are ready to seat the patient for the appointment.
- We will screen all patients using an infrared forehead thermometer. Any patient with a temperature of 100 degrees or above will be rescheduled unless emergency pain, swelling or infection is present. These emergency patients will follow the protocol listed below. These patients will also be advised to call their physician’s office.
- We have removed magazines and paper reading materials from our reception rooms as they are not easy to disinfect. As a replacement, patients and visitors can access our complimentary digital magazine library on a smartphone, laptop or tablet. Details for accessing the digital magazine library are displayed in our reception areas.
We appreciate your patience and thank you for your understanding if some of these new steps might cause a scheduling inconvenience or longer wait times that you are accustomed to in one of our clinics. Your safety and comfort remain our top priorities.
If you have questions or special requests, please reach out to us at 307-332-5088 or firstname.lastname@example.org
March 11, 2020 – Update for Our Valued Patients
Just like you, we are closely monitoring new developments regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). The health and safety of our patients and employees are of the utmost importance.
We are committed to doing everything we can to maintain a safe and comfortable experience when you visit one of our clinics at Intermountain Audiology.
Therefore, we’d like to inform you of the clinical infection control guidelines and universal precautions we’ve always taken in our offices, since opening our doors. Because we work in the ears for a living and in very close proximity with our employees, infection control is something we’ve always taken very seriously. We didn’t become the leader in our area by maintaining the status quo; you can count on us to be an audiology leader in meeting the challenge of the coronavirus.
What We Are Doing Differently:
We have implemented several new policies and procedures, which follow recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to stay up-to-date with these leading regional healthcare facilities and their recommendations and practices for the safety and comfort of all our patients and employees in the region.
We are in constant communication with our employees to reinforce our sanitization safety procedures in both patient-facing and employee-only areas. We are sanitizing high-traffic public areas at an increased frequency.
- Hand sanitizers are located throughout our facilities. Sanitizers are refilled and checked regularly.
- Public touchpoints, such as door handles, check-in stations, and knobs are cleaned multiple times daily.
- Surfaces such as front desk, coffee station counters, and reception tables are wiped regularly.
- In addition to our world-class standards of instrument sterilization, disinfection, and clinical cleanliness, we are also committed to disinfecting anything regularly affected by the human touch. Door handles, light switches, seating areas, trash cans, coffee makers, credit card processors, telephones and every commonly-touched surface will be disinfected throughout the day.
All our clinics have implemented handwashing and sanitizing procedures to take place multiple times during each employee’s shift.
- All employees are instructed each day on correct hand sanitizing procedures.
- Employees are instructed to wash hands before and after eating and before returning to a work area.
- Clinical employees are instructed to wash hands before and after every patient appointment.
- Proper procedures are posted in all employee-only work areas.
All Intermountain Audiology employees are prohibited from reporting to work with a respiratory illness that can be transmitted to others.
- Intermountain Audiology has instituted a new Employee Sick leave policy that offers 5 days paid sick leave to all employees, including part-time and hourly employees, in order to ensure employees who are ill remain home.
- If any employee were to be diagnosed as having coronavirus, they would be placed on a Medical Leave of Absence and would be paid for the duration of physician-mandated treatment.
For patients who feel unwell, we have detailed protocols developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Audiology patients feeling unwell and scheduled for a routine appointment or evaluation, should call our office at 307-332-5088 to reschedule their appointment to a date at least 14 days from today’s date and when the patient is no longer feeling unwell.
- Audiology patients feeling unwell and with a broken technology or causing pain, should call our office at 307-332-5088 to arrange for direct seating in a private treatment room, entering through a secondary entrance and bypassing the reception room. The patient will be given a facial mask to be worn while entering and leaving the office. The doctor and clinical team will assess the patient using proper universal precautions in a private room.
We want you to not only receive exceptional health care but also to enjoy your visit with us. We assure you we will be attentive and vigilant so you can receive a safe and comfortable hearing and tinnitus treatment in our clinics.
For future updates on what we’re doing in health safety, please call our office at 307-332-5088, email us at email@example.com or visit www.IntermountainAudiology.com
Jared M. Brader, MBA