5 Ways to Prepare Your Physical Therapy Clinic For Reopening

corona virus medical mask

CoVid19 has brought about new challenges none of us could have really prepared for. With information and recommendations coming at us from every direction and at lighting speed, it can be hard to know what’s best for your clinic, staff and patients.

Whether you’re strictly a PT clinic or offer traditional services like dry needling, acupuncture, or massage therapy, this is what you need to know about preparing your physical therapy clinic for reopening.

Avoid Group Visits

The primary transmission of the Corona Virus is through close, personal contact. Transmission is most common in groups and spaces that cannot be adequately cleaned and monitored.

With this in mind, you should totally avoid group visits and limit the number of patients that visit your practice. Be patient with staff and patients as they adjust to the new schedules and rules.

Pre-Screen Patients Prior to Their Appointment

ALL patients should be screened for health prior to their appointment. Check for signs of illness (fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, etc.) and travel or exposure risks. Questions should focus on whether they have been around someone who may have been exposed or who has been exposed.

If you believe a patient is ill or has been exposed due to travel or exposure, the patient should remain home and reschedule their appointment. This may be frustrating for you and the patient, so to make things easier, consider waiving any last minute cancellation fees.

Some patients may be fine on the phone but may be showing acute symptoms upon arrival. If this is the case, patients should be sent home untreated. Take extra measures to sanitize any areas or objects that were touched.

Council Patients Over the Phone

If your clinic uses alternative methods like herbs or essential oils to aid in relaxation and healing, these methods can be discussed over the phone.

Your clinic should consider the use of email newsletters to keep alternative health method news available for patients who may be unable to come for in-person treatment.

Stagger Appointments

For now, the days of hanging out in the waiting room are long gone. Patients should wait in their cars before their appointment. To avoid any appointment overlap, stagger appointments. This will help to avoid any long or awkward wait times for patients. Staggering appointments will also help avoid any overlap where patients may be forced to wait in their vehicle.

Remove Non-Essentials in the Clinic

Speaking of no waiting room hang outs, make sure that you remove any non-essentials from your clinic. According to Harvard Medical School, the Corona Virus can stay on surfaces 24 hours and up to 2-3 days depending on the surface type. Remove items like magazines, samples or products you sell from display, toys, and anything else that isn’t essential to each patient’s treatment.

General Tips

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are feeling unwell, do not go out in public or treat patients.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol based hand sanitizers may be used if water and soap are not available.
  • Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue. Immediately dispose of the tissue.

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Brook Phillips