Practice & Hospital Protocols to Minimize the Transmission of Coronavirus
The Coronavirus has been present in the United States for over a year, and SAMPA is still extremely committed to keeping up to date on the infection prevention protocols that we, as a practice, and the hospitals at which we perform surgery, use. After all, no one wants to go in for medical care and leave with an infection. As a result, we’ve had a number of patients questioning what they should do for their office visits or surgeries as a result of coronavirus.
Currently we are trying to minimize the number of patients who come to our office. We continue to use Telemedicine for follow up visits on our routine bariatric patients. If you come into the office for your appointment, we ask anybody that chooses to accompany you to wait in the car. They can be called during the visit.
If you are ill (coronavirus or not) you should call your PCP for instructions so we can determine the best course forward and then call our office to cancel or postpone surgery, if needed. For most patients, maintaining their current medical schedule is just fine.
We also want you to know that preventing the spread of infectious diseases is something we practice every day. The SAMPA office has increased our cleaning efforts to be sure to mitigate the spread of the virus. We are also screening in our office and asking anyone with a temp over 100.4 to leave and call their PCP. It would be a good idea if patients checked their temp before coming to our office. In fact, as medical professionals, it is one of the most important parts of our jobs. Not only do we, as individual practitioners, have protocols in place to ensure we do not contract or spread disease, so too does every facility associated with our practice. It doesn’t mean that transmission can’t happen, but we do our very best to minimize it. While we certainly are not comparing coronavirus to the flu – it is deadlier and there’s a lot we don’t know about it – it is important to remember that we deal with flu outbreaks every year. And we deal with Coronavirus in the same way as we deal with and the flu or any other contagious disease.
We also want to remind you of the part that you play in preventing the spread of this disease. Your eyes nose and mouth are the leading ways to both transmit and acquire a disease such as the coronavirus. Transmission occurs when you speak, cough or sneeze or when you touch your face and deposit the virus on surfaces around you. Therefore, if you may have been exposed to the virus or have been around someone or something that has been exposed, do not come to the office. It is important call your primary care physician or local hospital to learn more about the protocol they have for testing and treatment.
For those not experiencing symptoms, the easiest way to pick up the virus is by being around airborne droplets from those affected by coronavirus. Or by touching surfaces that may have infection on them. That’s why whenever you are going out or coming to our practice or the hospital, washing your hands often, using instant hand sanitizer with the 60% alcohol and most importantly not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth without clean hands can help you avoid infection and slow the spread. Together, we can all do our part to ensure that the spread of this disease is minimized and that the current health crisis doesn’t last much longer.
What to Expect At Your in Person Visits
As of June 2, 2020, we have resumed live weight loss surgery seminars. Currently, for both live bariatric seminars and in office visits, we are asking patients to respect protocols to promote the health and safety of both themselves, our team, and our community. We are currently asking that only the patient attend visits and seminars due to limited space with adequate social distance. Our team is pre-screening patients upon arrival. We ask that if you are experiencing any symptoms, please call our office prior to visiting. Face masks are being worn by staff and patients are asked to wear a face covering as well during in office appointments and seminars. Our providers will continue to offer telehealth visits, when possible, for those who prefer to not visit in person. Please specify when scheduling if you would prefer a telehealth visit. For patients who would like to get started with their weight loss journey online, we also offer an online webinar.
If you have questions about your care, please feel free to contact us.