CDC Releases Guidelines to Ready Physician Practices

Mar 18, 2020 at 02:15 pm by pj


Steps you take to prepare your clinic for flu also can help protect your patients and healthcare workers from COVID-19.

 

See also FAQs for Providers Here

 

 

Before Patients Arrive

  • Prepare the clinic.
    • Know which of your patients are at higher risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19.
    • Consider and plan for providing more telemedicine appointments.
    • Know how to contact your health department.
    • Stay connected with your health department to know about COVID-19 in your community. Step up precautions when the virus is spreading in your community.
    • Assess and restock supplies now and on a regular schedule
  • Communicate with patients.
    • Ask patients about symptoms during reminder calls.
    • Consider rescheduling non-urgent appointments.
    • Post signs at entrances and in waiting areas about prevention actions.
  • Prepare the waiting area and patient rooms.
    • Provide supplies—tissues, alcohol-based hand rub, soap at sinks, and trash cans.
    • Place chairs 3–6 feet apart, when possible. Use barriers (like screens), if possible.
    • If your office has toys, reading materials, or other communal objects, remove them or clean them regularly.

 

When Patients Arrive

  • Place staff at the entrance to ask patients about their symptoms.
    • Provide symptomatic patients with tissues or facemasks to cover mouth and nose.
    • Limit non-patient visitors.
  • Separate sick patients with symptoms.
    • Allow patients to wait outside or in the car if they are medically able.
    • Create separate spaces in waiting areas for sick and well patients.
    • Place sick patients in a private room as quickly as possible.

 

After Patients are Assessed

  • Provide at-home care instructions to patients with respiratory symptoms. Consider telehealth options for follow up.
  • Notify your health department of patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • After patients leave, clean frequently touched surfaces using EPA-registered disinfectants—counters, beds, seating.

 

Train and prepare your staff now.

  • Ensure that clinical staff know the right ways to put on, use, and take off PPE safely.
  • Recognize the symptoms—fever, cough, shortness of breath.
  • Implement procedures to quickly triage and separate sick patients.
  • Emphasize hand hygiene and cough etiquette for everyone.
  • Ask staff to stay home if they are sick.
  • Send workers home if symptoms develop at work.

 

Find signs for your clinic and infection prevention guidelines: www.cdc.gov/COVID19