This has no doubt been an incredibly challenging time. As the rest of the world, we have been closely tracking every new development related to Coronavirus (COVID-19.) Plus, we’ve been in constant contact with local health officials for guidance. Without question, our top priority has always been the health and well-being of our patients and employees – and to no lesser extent the health and well-being of the communities where we operate.
It is due to our deep commitment to our patients that we have made the decision to keep the offices open for the foreseeable future. As a healthcare facility, SOC treats a significant number of patients on a regular basis with a variety of issues requiring us to keep vigilant attention to them. This includes everything from urgent surgical problems to managing medications. Therefore, we will keep ALL offices open unless something changes from either a federal, state or local level. For example, changing the way testing, quarantines or social distancing are being handled.
This was not an easy decision to make, as we deeply considered the impact it will have on our patients, employees, and our communities. Please know that this has been a fast-moving, constantly developing situation and we are trying to react as quickly as we can.
For the protection and safety of all patients and employees entering our offices, we are now implementing the following protocols:
- We are limiting the number of patients in the waiting room and the number of people that come with them to decrease contact. No non-essential person will be allowed in the office.
- All our offices are thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and disinfected throughout the day. Offices, front desks, exam rooms, and waiting rooms will be cleaned and disinfected.
- Our clinical staff will wear gloves at all times.
- If any patient is experiencing symptoms of a cough or fever, they are not to come into the office. Also, all incoming patients into the office will be screened for symptoms prior to sitting in the waiting room. This will ensure no one comes in with symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath (CDC, March 2020.) Anyone considered questionable is to reschedule their appointment. Please be aware of any notices that are displayed at our facilities.
- ALL patients on medication therapy need to schedule this upcoming week if their prescriptions are running out in the NEXT TWO WEEKS. We cannot anticipate what will happen in the next couple weeks, therefore, patients need to make advanced preparations for their medications. Patients will STILL REQUIRE URINE TESTING as per standard protocols.
- All our staff members showing any of the above-mentioned symptoms will stay home.
- We will keep up the current surgery schedules for the time being.
These are unprecedented, challenging times for everyone. We will continue to navigate these uncharted waters with our patients, employees and communities remaining our highest priority. Rest assured that we will continue to listen to your feedback – and continue to make the best decisions we can for everyone’s well-being.
Ashish K Sahai, MD, FAAOS
Spine & Orthopedic Center (SOC)