During the current health crisis, many people are questioning whether or not it is safe to go to the doctor's office for routine care. While the Covid-19 pandemic has raised a number of questions about the safety of such facilities, sometimes you don't have much of an option as to whether or not you go. Here are a few things your doctor should be doing to keep everyone safe during a worldwide pandemic.
Symptom Screening Over the Phone
If you have any of the Covid-19 symptoms, your doctor will be aware of any potential exposure to the office and might have systems in place to send you elsewhere for proper care and testing. In some cases, you will be able to visit with your doctor through a virtual appointment, and you won't even have to leave your home to get the care you need. Being honest and upfront about your symptoms keeps everyone who might come into contact with you healthy and helps stop the spread of germs.
Sanitizing the Office
Multiple times a day, employees should go through and sanitize any area that patients have touched to keep the spread of germs to a minimum. By wiping down surfaces of chairs, light switches, doorknobs and bathrooms, the likelihood of you catching the virus is greatly reduced.
No Waiting Room
Many doctors offices around the country have closed down waiting rooms entirely to keep sick people from being exposed to those coming for routine checks. Often times, you will be prompted by the front desk to call in upon your arrival and be asked to wait in your car until your doctor is ready to see you. Patients are taken directly to their room where they will wait until the doctor can see them. Another way doctors are working to not expose people unnecessarily is by spreading out appointment times and not having an overlap of visits in the office.
To protect the front staff and keep you from coming in contact with them, many practices and clinics are allowing for payment over the phone or through the mail. Where many doctor's offices previously had a check-in sheet at the front desk, many do not have this option any more. As little contact as possible is the goal. Check with your healthcare facility and see if there is an app available to pay your balance, schedule future appointments, or communicate with your doctor directly.
To learn more, contact your doctor and ask about the safety measures they're using.