CHW Treatment Safety Protocols for Patients and Staff

We are very excited to be able to see you again soon!  We are reopening our clinic on May 11th and want to give you a bit of an orientation as to how we will reopen, while protecting the health and safety of you and our staff. To begin with, Dr. Fargo and Nancy have personally contracted and survived COVID-19 and may have some level of immunity; the jury is still out on the depth and length of that immunity.  The other doctors have not, as yet, been tested for the presence of antibodies; a sign of past exposure and possible immunity. That may change as testing becomes more broadly available. Below are listed a number of protocols we are incorporating in our clinic procedure in order to protect you.  Please read through them carefully and completely before your next visit to the clinic.

In order to assist with easier ‘social distancing’ we have staggered the doctors’ treating hours.  An email blast was sent earlier this week with that information and it is also posted on our website: www.chwmn.com.  In addition, we request that you do not ‘drop in’ without an appointment because doing so will make it more difficult for us to control the flow of patients in the clinic. 

 Be aware that when you come in to the clinic you will be asked a series of questions to make sure it is safe for you to come in.  You will be asked whether:

  • You have travelled by airplane in the past 2 weeks.
  • You have recently had a fever (100.4+ is considered to be significant) or symptoms suggestive of fever, like chills, body aches, etc.
  • You have a recent onset of:
    • cough, not related to seasonal allergies
    • sore throat
    • shortness of breath without significant exertion
    • digestive complaints (including vomiting or diarrhea)
    • loss of taste or smell.
  • You have, or suspect you have, COVID-19 infection.
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19, or are awaiting the results of tests for COVID-19.
  • You have been recently exposed to someone who either has, or is suspected of having, COVID-19 infection.

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, we will not be able to care for you at this time and will suggest that you do one of the following before you return for care:

  • Wait 14 days until after your symptoms have disappeared.
  • Wait 14 days following contact with someone who has, or you suspect has, COVID-19 without developing symptoms.
  • You test negative for COVID-19, if testing was done due to suspected or confirmed exposure and that testing was done 14 days following exposure or suspected exposure.

The reason for these precautions is that a person can be infected and have no symptoms, sometimes for as long as 14 days, and yet be contagious.

The procedures that we will be using to protect you and our staff are outlined below:

 

  • We will be staggering Doctors’ schedules and appointment times to facilitate social distancing. This may mean that our capacity to care for patients during peak hours of demand will be reduced and may necessitate that you schedule in advance for those peak hours.

 

  • If you wish to do so, you may choose to wait for your appointment in your car; this is not a requirement.  If you prefer to do so, when you arrive in our parking lot you will simply call or text the front desk to let us know you have arrived and are ready for your appointment. When the doctor is ready for you the front desk will call or text and let you know to come in.

 

  • The front door to the building has an electronic door opener which you can operate with your hip or elbow. We suggest you use this for entering and leaving the building.

 

  •     Before you enter the clinic we ask that you wash your hands in the bathrooms that are on either side of the elevators, or that you use hand sanitizer that is available in the lobby of the building by the elevators or in the clinic.  The bathrooms also have automated doors that can be opened with a hip or elbow.

 

  • We will be leaving our front door open so that you do not have to touch the doorknob coming in or going out. (Sorry, this also means that our puppy friends will not be joining us in the clinic for a while.)

 

  • We will take your temperature when you come in. Once again, we want to make sure that our staff and other patients are not unwittingly exposed. If you have a fever (temperature in excess of 100.4), we will not be able to care for you on that day. We will ask that you go home, quarantine, and do one of the actions outlined above

 

  • Additionally, one of the staff will be asking you the questions outlined above.  As previously noted, if you answer “yes” to any of these questions, we will not be able to see you that day and will request that you take one of the previously stated actions before returning for care.

 

  • We will be wearing face coverings (masks) and ask that you do likewise.  If you do not happen to have one, we will provide a sanitized and reusable cloth mask which you may use while in the clinic and then drop in a hamper when you depart. The reason we feel that face coverings are important is that they prevent droplet spread of the virus when you cough, sneeze or speak.

 

  • We will observe strict hand washing/sanitization before we touch you.

 

  • We are providing a sanitized stylus (which will be in a “clean” bin next to the iPad) for to you use when you sign in. When you finish signing in you will place your used stylus in the “used” bin.

 

  • We will provide appropriate social distancing in the reception and waiting areas. The chair arms and all “touch points” within the clinic will be regularly sanitized.

 

  • We will only have one patient in our respective treatment bays at a time (i.e. while each doctor has two tables in his/her bay, we will only have one patient in a bay at a time). The Front Desk will let you know when you may go to your table to be treated.

 

  • In order to keep a sanitary treatment surface for you, we are providing each patient with a clean sheet to use on their table. When you are sent to your table, please pick up a sheet and cover your table before you sit down.  When you are finished with your adjustment, we ask that you take your sheet and put it in a nearby hamper and to then discard your own face paper.

 

  • We ask that you not bring other family members with you for your appointment, unless they are also being treated. The idea here is that we want to limit those coming through the doors to those that are being treated and thus minimize the potential for exposure.

 

  • We ask that you not linger or lean on the front desk counter and will ask that, if you have not already done so, you leave a credit card number on account. Your card will then be charged for your appointment when you leave. If you need to pay by credit card or check at the time of the appointment, we will have facility to sanitize both using ultraviolet light sanitizers, however we prefer to keep all transactions ‘paperless’ as much as possible.

 

  • All therapy and rehab equipment will be sanitized or covered with protective coverings before each use.

 

  • And finally, we ask for your understanding and patience during this new and uncertain time. We have tried to think of everything that we can do to protect you and our staff, and welcome your suggestions and/or comments.

We apologize for any inconvenience that these procedures might cause you, but, rest assured, we are taking these measures to protect both you and our staff. If you have some special circumstances, please let us know and we will do everything possible to accommodate your needs.  If you have any questions or concerns about any of our policies or procedures, do not hesitate to contact the doctors or Nancy.  We love and appreciate you and look forward to getting back to a new “normal”.