At Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands, we are closely monitoring the developments with the COVID 19. Just like you, we have numerous concerns about this situation. Considering that, we want you to understand our current position and approach. We know that trying times require both unique and up-to-date safety precautions to keep our patients and staff healthy.
First, we are committed to being there for all our patients through this challenging time. Despite the problem going on worldwide, people will continue to have concerns that arise with their skin and require skilled dermatology care. We plan to remain open to continue to take care of your dermatology needs.
COVID 19 Safety Measures at Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands
In addition to continuing our mission of providing the very best care by the best dermatologists for our patients, our other highest priority is to maintain an environment in our clinics that is as safe as possible for our patients, visitors, and medical staff. We would like you to know that we have already implemented several steps to do this.
Our Covid 19 safety measures will evolve as circumstances change. As of March 16th, 2020, they include:
1) Notification for those potentially infected with COVD 19
We have special signage on the entry areas and in the waiting rooms of our clinics to increase awareness of the cardinal symptoms of COVID 19 infection, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. This signage mandates that everyone with any of those symptoms should return home and call us to reschedule their appointments. Likewise, we are asking those who have recently returned from international travel to reschedule.
Notification of these prescreening processes (noted above) is happening during the scheduling process so there are no surprises for our patients when they come to their appointments.
3) Temperature Checks
Fever is one of the most common signs of COVID 19 infection. Because of that, everyone coming to our clinics will be screened by having their temperature taken with a no-touch thermometer. This starts with our staff—all of them have their temperature checked at the start of the workday. Our patients and any other visitors to our clinic will also have their temperature checked. In the unlikely event that we identify any individuals with a fever, they will leave the clinic.
We have always worked to maintain one of the cleanest and most sanitary clinics in the region. Currently, we are aggressively sanitizing areas in our clinic throughout the day above and beyond our norm to further minimize risks.
5) Expectations of our Staff
If any of our staff have potential or certain exposure to COVID 19, they will not return to work until the appropriate time-that is when self-quarantine has ended, or they are no longer contagious. Additionally, any staff who have signs or symptoms of COVID 19 infection will likewise not return to work until they are no longer contagious.
At Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands, we have created a culture whereby we treat each patient as a member of our family. An essential part of that culture is the custom of a welcoming handshake. In the current environment—where we are striving to have the safest, cleanest, most sanitary dermatology practice in the area—we have decided to transition away from the warm handshake to the “cool hand wave.”
7) Additional Measures
You will notice some additional temporary changes in our waiting rooms. We have removed all casual items from these areas that cannot be sanitized and potentially could pose a transmission hazard, including magazines and books, etc. We are also asking that any patients limit the number of guests that may accompany them to their appointment.
Since we have multiple office locations in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area, we are developing a contingency plan whereby designated staff and providers work at one location for the time being. This will allow us to be available to our patients in the unlikely event, that anyone of our clinics must close temporarily. We feel ready to work through the obvious and unpredictable challenges that are coming. We also hope for the best and safest outcome for all our staff, patients, and the greater community.
If we may be of any further assistance, please contact us to schedule a consultation. in any of our clinics in Omaha, Council Bluffs or the surrounding communities.