Social distancing, whether you like it or not, is here to stay. But with it still being so new, many people are innocently making mistakes and breaking social distancing norms. And with physical therapy being a bit tricky when it comes to what’s right and what’s wrong, you will need to help guide patients so they are aware of the proper protocol.
Here are 5 ways you can promote social distancing at your physical therapy clinic.
Use an Online Check-In Form
Check-in forms can be lengthy and time consuming. In the past patients would sit in the waiting room and diligently fill out their information. Today, asking patients to fill out forms in waiting rooms could pose a threat to their health.
Using an online check-in form will help to reduce the in-person waiting time for patients. Additionally, online check-in forms streamline the check-in process for your staff.
Check with your local and state’s HIPPA laws on which online platforms are approved for online check-in. There are different HIPPA laws for health services that are offered online, include checking in.
Mark the Ground
The recommended safe distance is 6 feet. However, could you eye ball 6 feet? This is the hardest part of social distancing as we never had to really think about our distance from each other. Making markers on the ground that indicate 6 feet will help patients mind their distance without having to think about it too hard.
You can use tape or buy stickers from vendors who create special floor stickers labeling 6 feet.
Probably the most fun suggestion. Redecorating your lobby to help promote social distancing can be a good thing for you. When was the last time you really looked at your waiting area or lobby? Are there chairs you’ve been wanting to get rid of? Perhaps old magazines that should have been tossed months ago?
Removing extra seating areas, purchasable items, magazines, etc. from the waiting areas will help prevent patients and guests from lingering too long or touching something that may transfer germs.
Embrace minimalism because sometimes less really is more.
Staggering patient appointments in 15 or 30 minute increments will help alleviate any extra bodies in the waiting areas or during treatment. Make sure that patients understand that their appointments will be staggered and to arrive as on time as possible. Because of the staggered appointment times it’s imperative that everyone stays on the schedule to avoid any overlaps or mishaps.
Use Social Media
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with your patients of past and present. Use your platforms to inform your followers about your new social distancing rules. Remember, this is all new for everyone and people will forget. By using social media to gently remind people regularly about your new rules, you can hopefully avoid any slip ups or risks that would put your staff and patients health in jeopardy.