Although infectious disease isn't as common in an eyecare practice as it is in a hospital, it is surprising how many viruses or bacteria can be transferred through eye fluid, air, and water droplets. When you see patients that are above the age of 65 or under the age of 12, your practice should take a few extra precautions.
Eyecare practices are already sanitizing their equipment after every use with wipes or sprays, but the importance increases during flu season.
There's no such thing as being too cautious when it comes to protecting your staff and patients. So, here are a few ways to keep your practice sanitary while focusing on patient care.
4 Ways to Prevent Illness in Your Practice
Keep hand sanitizers and face masks in your stockroom at all times. The face masks should only be used for technicians and ODs who are interacting with a sick patient. The hand sanitizers can be placed in every room for patients and staff who don't need to wear gloves. Also, make sure you always have sanitizing wipes for your keyboard, door handles, and even pens. It might be a good idea to get on an automatic reordering schedule for these items if you know about how long they last.
Alongside your patient reminder emails or texts, urge patients to reschedule if they have a fever or cough or when they are still contagious. During flu season, you could urge patients to arrive alone or with just one guardian to reduce exposure. You can create a footer banner so that this message is attached to all appointment reminders. If patients seem to ignore this, you can gently remind them that you have young and elderly patients who could more easily fall ill.
It is especially important that you offer paid sick leave in your office for associates and other staff to compensate your staff while they are sick. Like we mentioned above, you wouldn't want any patients contracting an illness from your staff, so encourage them to stay home if they can. Also, make sure that your team feels prepared to address patients who come to their appointment when they're running a fever.
While patient reminder emails are a good preventative measure, make sure you have posters up in your practice and secure messages in your patient portal or patient education about the transfer of viruses and illness throughout the year. The best way to keep everyone safe is through educating visitors on best practices. With a plethora of misinformation online, your patients will appreciate advice from their doctor.
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