Tools for Your Practice During COVID-19
Friday, March 20, 2020
Dear AACS members,
It is an understatement that COVID-19 has impacted every one of our valued members. Please know that AACS is in the process of compiling tools to help you and your practice respond to these challenging times. Below are a few tips to help you meet the challenges facing you and your practice:
Practice Management Tips
- In order to protect your staff and patients, adhere to CDC sanitation and disinfection guidelines.
- Use scheduling to create a time barrier between patients, which will help with physical barriers and social distancing.
- Monitor your health and that of your staff daily. Present your patient with a form stating you and your staff are not aware of being exposed to the virus and your temperature is normal. Have your patient sign a similar form.
- Identify a staff member to field questions about COVID-19 and equip them with the latest information offered by the CDC.
- Connect to your patients via social media and consider using online chat tools like Zoom for virtual consults. GoToMeeting also has an option with HIPPA safeguards.
Steps to Take at Your Practice
- Communicate with your patients honestly. Let them know what steps you and your practice are taking to keep everyone safe. Let them know you value their business, appreciate their needs, and will do everything in your power to meet their needs as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so.
- Ensure proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE). Healthcare personnel who come in close contact with confirmed or possible patients with COVID-19 should wear the appropriate personal protective equipment.
- Consider conducting an inventory of available PPE supplies. Explore strategies to optimize PPE supplies.
- Limit how germs can enter the facility. Use telemedicine when possible for consultations, limit points of entry and manage visitors, screen patients for respiratory symptoms, encourage patient respiratory hygiene using alternatives to facemasks (e.g., tissues to cover cough).
- Explore a line of credit or a low-interest loan to support cash flowing out of your business or delayed/minimal payments on credit cards and loans.
- Collect passwords and other key access information that can be shared with you and your key employees. Don't have just one employee be the point of vital information.
- The SBA is offering disaster assistance loans for up to $2 million for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. These low-interest loans are available to businesses that have sustained "substantial economic injury" due to the spread of the coronavirus. Find more information on the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: SBA.gov/Disaster.
- Check to see if your state is offering disaster assistance. Small business owners in select states are eligible. Click here to apply.
- Many businesses have business interruption insurance. Contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident.
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
We are exploring the creation of online communities or "Groups" to give members a forum to engage with one another virtually. We know that the bond our members share is an important and highly valuable professional asset.
Finally, and perhaps most important, know that AACS leadership and staff are here for you. Please reach out and let us know how we can support you and your staff and share with us ideas, tips, and suggestions that we can share with your colleagues.
Be safe and well,
Colleen M. Nolan, MA, MBA
Executive Director, AACS