Tips from the AAAAI
Information on how to minimize risk of exposure to coronavirus is everywhere, but here are some ideas specifically for protecting your practice, your staff and your patients.
- Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation and be prepared to take action if it is spreading in your community; work with local and state public health organizations. Links to helpful resources are provided below.
- Communicate with your staff and keep them safe
- Share information about what is currently known about the virus and your preparedness plans
- Ensure you have enough personal protective equipment on hand. Equipment and alternative supplier lists are available through the ECRI site.
- Make sure staff who are sick know it is OK to stay home
- Prepare your office to safely triage and manage patients with respiratory illness
- Post signs at entrances and other strategic locations with information on proper hand and respiratory hygiene
- Establish a script that can be used by staff and the clinical team when patients call the office to ask about COVID-19; this will help ensure everyone is delivering the same message. You can use ours and edit as needed: Script to Use with Patients Contacting Your Allergy/Immunology Practice Asking About COVID-19
- Ensure appropriate supplies (hand sanitizer, tissues, waste receptacles) are available
- Consider re-arranging your waiting room to promote social distancing; set up a special area just for patients with respiratory symptoms
- Consider alternatives to in person visits
- Provide information on your website, patient portal, or through direct text messaging to patients on when to come to the office and when to stay home and self-monitor symptoms
- Link to advice lines, online self-assessment tools provided by credible sources such as CDC, WHO, your local hospital
- Implement/expand telehealth options. Detailed information can be found in the Utilize Telemedicine section.
ECRI Guidelines Trust has a COVID-19 resource center that includes links to:
- preparedness checklists
- alternative equipment suppliers
- evidence-based guidelines on coronavirus and more.
SSRN has a paper on pre-emptive low cost social distancing and enhanced hygiene tactics for COVID-19 that includes simple, actionable steps individuals can take to slow the disease spread.
- steps to minimize exposure when the arrival of a patient with known or suspected COVID-19 is anticipated and not anticipated
- steps in arrange for transport of suspected COVID-19 patient to another facility
- steps to minimize exposure after the patient leaves