Patient Update Regarding COVID-19’s Impact on Our Operations

by in Uncategorized March 19, 2020

Updated 7/24/2020

Dear Apple Healthcare Family,        

Our clinic continues to evaluate current health concerns regarding COVID-19.  We want to reassure our valued patients that we are taking steps to ensure the safety of you and our community.  Your health is our top priority.

First, we are keeping up to date with the local and regional COVID-19 situation by regularly monitoring information sent out by the CDC, World Health Organization Situation Reports, and our state and local health departments.

Secondly, we have reviewed and updated our Emergency Action Plan with the following updates:

Patient Screening Process

We have updated our screening process of our patients and visitors before entering our clinic for symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing).  Patients and visitors are asked to not enter the clinic if they match any of the following criteria as per CDC recommendations:

  1. Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
  1. Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  1. Have you been sick with a fever (>100.4), cough, chills, sore throat, headaches, or shortness of breath in the last 48 hours?
  1. Have you had a new loss of taste or smell?

If you have answered yes to any of the above you will be asked to reschedule your appointment in an effort to protect other patients and our team in the clinic.

Adjusting Population Volume In Clinic

The number of people allowed in the clinic continues to be adjusted by minimizing any non-essential family members or visitors accompanying the patient.  They will be asked to wait outside or in their vehicle while the patient receives care. In addition, we have team members that are able, working from home. The goal, again, is to decrease the number of people within the clinic at any given time.

Promoting Hygiene Safety

Patients will be asked to utilize hand sanitizer or wash their hands immediately upon entering the clinic and sign in with a pen from the “clean pen” jar, putting it in the “dirty pen” jar when finished so it can be re-sanitized.

Any Apple Healthcare team member that has any symptoms of illness or satisfies any of the previous criteria has been informed to stay home and not come to work.

Additionally, we have increased our sanitation standards in the clinic. Although we have always been vigilant with regard to cleanliness and sanitation, we have increased our standard operating procedures to include wiping all surfaces and contact points patients may encounter during their visit to reflect protocols recommended by the CDC.

Surfaces include any technology, tables, countertops, light switches, and doorknobs, etc. Furthermore, the healthcare providers are continuing to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds regularly as well as use hand sanitizer as necessary.

Physical Distancing and Face Coverings

Physical distancing measures are in place to minimize transmission while in our medical setting.  Plexiglass barriers are in place in our front office during check in and check out procedures. In accordance with local guidelines all staff are required to wear masks indoors when physical distancing measures cannot be maintained. We would like patients to follow Knox health department guidelines by wearing masks as well.

Potential Clinic Schedule Adjustments

At this time, we do not anticipate having to close down our clinic for any length of time. If this situation changes, we will send an email to all patients, post to our Facebook page, and any patient with an impacted appointment will receive a phone call from our office.

Everyone here at Apple Healthcare is committed to optimize the health of our community. The Apple Healthcare team values health and the delivery of quality care with integrity in a supportive atmosphere. Please do not hesitate to contact us by phone, email, or on any of our social media platforms. We wish for your continued health and happiness through this difficult time.

The Apple Healthcare Team
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