Member Alert: COVID-19 Update & Resources
As we continue to all work through protocol for the COVID-19 Virus the OSOMS would like to share these suggestions for your practice:
- Prop the front door open and have an employee take everyone’s temperature as they enter, to include escorts.
- Patients have all doors opened for them and are escorted when transmitting through the office.
- Limit escorts to just one person.
- Notices posted outside office and sent to patients that if they have traveled out of the country within the past two weeks or show any signs of respiratory illness to reschedule.
- Patients are given a pen they will personally use to sign documents and they take it home.
- Wiping ALL surfaces between patients including front office desktops.
- Hand washing after every patient even if just a consult and no direct contact.
- Take employee temperatures in AM and at the end of the day.
- Encouraging patients in waiting room to keep 6 feet apart.
- Consider elective consults using telemedicine modalites like Zoom, FaceTime or Skype.
- Put a plan in place should any employees or doctors develop any symptoms that they are to self-quarantine from the office for 14 days.
- If any staff were to test positive, discuss a plan with your staff regarding closing the office for two weeks.
The OSOMS Annual Meeting is still currently scheduled for April 25. We will notify members of any updates once more is determined.
The continued spread of COVID-19 across the country is concerning to all of us, and the numbers of cases is expected to increase over the next several weeks. As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, we have a responsibility to help our patients and yet protect our staff, ourselves and the community from this contagion.
Taking additional precautionary steps could slow the spread of this virus. If unchecked, the number of coronavirus patient cases could add significant stresses to our healthcare system not seen in many years.
We recommend you follow the CDC guidelines and minimize risks. To free up beds for coronavirus patients, we may see restrictions on hospital-based elective surgeries. In the interest of patient safety, however, outpatient elective surgeries should continue with appropriate screenings that include asking about travel, URI or flu-like symptoms in the past 14 days. If yes and the patient's temperature is above 99.1 F, the OMS should consider delaying surgery for at least 14 days.
AAOMS believes these decisions can be capably made by the individual surgeon on a case-by-case basis. Continue to check your state's department of health website for specific guidance. In addition, we are tracking legislation and regulations regarding sick leave and family leave.
In your practice, it is prudent to wipe down all surfaces thoroughly between patients, including frequent cleaning of waiting room chairs. The following links provide additional guidance for healthcare professionals:
- CDC Resources: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- WHO Information and Guidance: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- Transmission routes of 2019-nCoV and controls in dental practice: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41368-020-0075-9
- Johns Hopkins University (latest global case numbers): https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
- ACS Recommendations for Management of Elective Surgical Procedures: https://www.facs.org/about-acs/covid-19/information-for-surgeons
We want you to know AAOMS is following this situation carefully as it is changing rapidly. We will do our best to provide you with the most up-to-date and evidence-based recommendations.
Victor Nannini, DDS, FACS
Scott Farrell, MBA, CPA
AAOMS Executive Director