We have been open for two weeks now and I wanted to give an update on how the office is doing with the new protocols.
This unprecedented time has made it necessary for us to change a lot of our procedures that we have become used to over the years. What was second nature has now been changed to a new way of doing things and they are not small changes… they are major. It will take some time for everything to sink in and once that happens, we’ll have our new “normal”. Until then, we’ll have to keep thinking about what we’re doing and reminding ourselves until it simply becomes part of our typical day.
- The front office staff has found that much of their time now is spent helping patients with the new procedures to come to the office. It starts with helping them fill out their screening form in advance, waiting in their car until we message them, entering the office and stopping at the sanitizing station to hand sanitize and put on gloves, getting their temp taken, and then finally getting escorted to their room. Then either one of the hygienists or assistants take over.
- Once a patient enters a room with their mask and gloves on, the hygienist or assistant will have them remove their mask and rinse with an anti-viral/bacterial mouthrinse for one minute. They’ll then make sure the patient is comfortable and ready for their procedure. Once the treatment is completed, the patient is scheduled for any subsequent appointments and then dismissed. Patients are free to leave and don’t need to stop at the front desk since all payments and insurance can be done online.
- The instruments are gathered for sterilization, supplies are disinfected, and the countertops are wiped clean. Then before the hygienist/assistant leaves the room, she is fogged with hypochlorous acid (HOCL) to disinfect her gown and related PPE. The instruments are then taken to the sterilization room and the room is fogged completely. In three minutes, the room can be used again. When I leave a room, I am also fogged each time. The entire office is fogged at the end of the day and first thing in the morning.
Sound like a lot? It is, but it’s what we need to do now to keep everyone safe. Keep smiling!