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Working Through the Outbreak: Tips for Healthcare Practices to Prevent the Spread & Put Patients at Ease

Mar 4, 2020 4:37:32 PM

Coronavirus has gripped the attention of the global community. Infections from the new disease (COVID-19) are popping up every day across dozens of countries, so early preparation is important to prevent a spread amongst patients. 

Healthcare practices are adjusting their day-to-day operations and processes to screen for infections and prevent the spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that coronavirus can easily spread through close contact. This presents a major obstacle for any practice where front-desk staff have to physically engage with a patient to ask where they have traveled, or what their symptoms are. Clearwave is making the screening process easier, more effective and putting patients’ minds at ease with our Coronavirus Screening Module.

Technology as a Tool

Simple solutions including hand washing and the use of facemasks are being used to limit the spread of coronavirus within doctors’ offices. Now technology is joining the fight, offering up a solution to eliminate the human-intervention aspect of a potential exposure. The electronic screening of patients is one way to gather information from a distance and queue the proper precautions before ever coming in contact with healthcare providers and staff. That’s why Clearwave is offering the Coronavirus Screening Module on our current electronic self check-in solution for no additional cost.

Collecting information fast and early is critical to fighting an infectious outbreak. The Coronavirus Screening Module offers healthcare professionals across the country direct communication with their patients before coming face-to-face. This allows doctors to gather information to figure out if a patient should be isolated during their visit, or if the provider needs to wear protective clothing and eyewear. It creates a virtual barrier between someone who may have been exposed to the virus and someone who has not. Patients will be screened based off recommended questionnaires provided by the CDC. They’ll be asked questions about where they have traveled recently, if they have visited areas with high infection rates, and what symptoms they are experiencing.

Putting Patients at Ease

Patient self check-in not only helps control the spread of diseases like coronavirus, but it can also assist in putting patients minds at ease. The thought of a global outbreak can be scary and difficult to come to terms with. Knowing their practice of choice is actively screening patients upon arrival and taking steps to contain possible cases is a great first step to calming patient fears. It gives patients comfort that the public office space – like the waiting room – is safe,  that the next exam table they sit on will be clean, or that the bathroom faucet isn’t contaminated. Electronic self check-in also gives practices the ability to educate patients on the statistics and about the virus, and best practices for safeguarding themselves and their families. 

Preventing the Spread

All that said, while technology can aid in keeping us safe, it won’t stop the spread on its own. Here are some tips and best practices offered up by the CDC to prevent the spread inside the four walls of your facility.

  • Healthcare providers should try to stay at least six feet away from patients in close proximity for long periods of time.
  • Patients experiencing symptoms should be isolated from others until coronavirus can be ruled out.
  • Healthcare practitioners should avoid all contact with bodily fluids, including saliva or blood.
  • Staff should wear facemasks as well as protective eyewear when treating anyone experiencing symptoms.
  • Practices should routinely clean and disinfect healthcare settings, including self check-in equipment, door handles, countertops, bathrooms etc.
  • Practices should promote hand hygiene for both staff and patients:
    • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer after all patient interactions.
    • Promote washing of hands even after wearing gloves or protective gear.

For the latest guidelines on protecting yourself and others from coronavirus visit CDC.gov

By combining official recommended practices for prevention and containment with technology like self check-in solutions, practices can be empowered to effectively prevent the spread of coronavirus amongst their patients. 

While no one person is able to end the outbreak or ensure the disease isn’t spreading, we can do everything in our power to protect and educate patients when they’re under our care. Download this free printable infographic to display for patients in your practice.

*Clearwave will continue to provide updates as they become available.

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