Re-Opening Our Office!
FOR OUR PATIENTS
RE: RE-OPENING OF OUR OFFICE!
I hope that you are all well and getting adjusted to our new Coronavirus world. Of course, I have been carefully monitoring all of the developments with regard to this pandemic and trying to figure out when and how we will be returning to the world of Reproductive Medicine. At this time, it looks like we will be able to resume caring for our patients on May 4th with a number of important changes that must be implemented.
It seems clear that Coronavirus will be around for quite some time, hopefully at progressively lower rates of infection as the weeks and months go by. Delaying your treatment until we have an effective vaccine seems unreasonable, given that this may be 12-16 months away. Alternatively, any resumption of the care that we provide must be accompanied by carefully applied measures to assure the highest level of safety for you as well as our staff. There is precedent for the best ways to accomplish this goal since many practices (primary care, OB/GYN, etc.) have continued to provide care during the past 4-6 weeks while social distancing has been in place, and a great deal has been learned.
When we return, we will be doing the following things to provide safety for all:
- When appointments are made, you will be asked if you or any family member is ill with any viral illness or known Coronavirus. ***If you are ill or have had any contact with someone who is positive through testing for Coronavirus, we must discuss how testing and possible delay ofd treatment. This is necessary because many people who are infected with the virus are asymptomatic, but still capable of passing the disease along to others. This provision will change once adequate testing for immunity and for the virus is widely available – hopefully in the not too distant future. A negative recent viral test for this specific group of patients may be necessary. All consultations and new patient initial interviews will be through telemedicine to minimize risks to all.
- When appointments are made, you will be advised that you should call the main office number when you arrive to let us know that you are outside the office. Our initial policy will be to try to have only one patient in the office at a time. When that patient leaves, then the next patient may enter. We will call each waiting patient on their cell phone when they are clear to come into the office. I realize that this will be cumbersome to implement, but for the initial “phase-in” I think this would be best. For the time being, we ask that husbands and family members not attend office visits. You are welcome to facetime partners or family members while in the office and may video early pregnancy ultrasound images of your babies. When you come into the atrium area of our office you will be greeted by one of our team will and asked about any recent illness or relevant health issues pertaining to Coronavirus. Additionally, your temperature will be taken and anyone with a temperature above 99.5 degrees will not be allowed to enter the office. At that time we will assess your individual situation and advise you on the next step.
- All patients being seen must have a mask or kerchief covering their nose and mouth. This may be a self-made mask or an actual surgical mask. We will be unable to provide this mask due to shortages, so you must have your own.
- All of our staff will wear masks at all times in the office and all staff treating patients directly (i.e. venipuncture, ultrasound techs, physician, nurses) will be wearing gloves.
- In the event that more than one patient is in the office at the same time, we request that you strictly maintain social distancing guidelines (6’ apart)
- We will be wiping down all counter surfaces with sanitizer multiple times throughout the day.
**Of course, this is a broad outline and serves only to provide us with a starting point so that we may safely resume your treatment. As we gain experience and gain access to new information and testing, we will clearly need to modify our procedures.
***I miss you all and sincerely look forward to getting back to work and seeing you again! Our team remains committed to your safety and care.
Your team at The Center For Reproductive Medicine and Fertility