By DOUG MINTZ
We are living in very challenging times right now. The COVID-19 virus continues to spread all over the country. Yes, there are select “hot spots,” but with air travel and the freedom of movement we love and enjoy in this country, you never know where this epidemic can hit next.
The fact is, COVID-19 (the invisible enemy) is costing clinic owners millions of dollars in lost revenue due to public fear, personal time off for employees who also fear this situation, and actual sick time off for employees that contract the virus. Individuals are out of work for well over a week if not two when recovering from this ailment. As clinic owners, public perception is your reality.
That said, it is critical that you protect your patients and employees now!
There are a multitude of safe distancing solutions for patient waiting room areas, executive offices, nursing stations, and open-plan office layouts with cubicles in them.
That said, businesses can take the “band-aid” mindset and throw up a few sneeze guards with wire and drywall screws (yes, I’ve seen this) or clinic owners can make lemonade from lemons by installing quality room dividers and panel stacking units that make an aesthetic statement and most importantly keep everyone separated and safe. One example for cubicles are fabric stackers/tiles that can be attached to existing cube walls, raising their privacy heights an additional 24 or 30 inches. They are available in several thickness and dozens of fabric selections. This option also has some acoustic benefits to dampen sound in the workplace. A second example is frosted or clear acrylic shields that can be attached to the tops of cube walls, again raising privacy heights the same
24 or 30 inches, while still allowing light through them.
A third product option is customizable room dividers that are designed for separation versatility and functionality. The applications are endless, including the formation of small meeting rooms, collaboration and huddle spaces, break rooms, patient waiting rooms, and private work areas. All these spaces can be created without expensive and disruptive construction costs. The panels can be designed individually, then connected to construct the separation space that works best for you. These dividers are framed in beautiful lightweight decorative aluminum, and many materials can be integrated into these designs including fabrics, frosted and clear acrylic, and decorative acrylics. Caster options are also available on these screens for easy mobility and quick & flexible on-site space “tweaking.” One last product offering worth mentioning is desk screens that can be mounted onto existing desks in private offices to offer separation and safe distancing between doctors and patients, nurses and patients, or office managers and their internal customers; their staff. These desk dividers are also available in many materials including fabrics and easy-to-clean acrylics.
All the above options are available in a relatively short time frame. Some products can be installed within 7-10 days. More elaborate products and designs will take 4-6 weeks from order date to the day of installation.
What is most important is these products will put patients and employees at ease.
Peace of mind is what it will take to build and increase your business back to its full potential.
I believe these COVID challenges will continue well into the first quarter of 2021. If this is the case, can your clinic afford to operate at income levels 30 – 50 percent off the norm? The short answer to this question for most doctors is no. Doctors, managers, and owners need to seriously consider these investments to bring back their revenue streams as quickly as possible.
Doug Mintz is president of CPOF Inc. – Cubicles Plus Office Furnishings. Mintz has been in the office furniture industry for over 20 years. After working three years for a family-owned dealership, he ventured out on his own in 2001 and founded CPOF Inc. His focus is primarily on the patient’s waiting room experience, as well as the ergonomic health and wellbeing of clinic employees. Visit www.CubiclesPlusOF.com or email