COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Strategies

covid-19

COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Strategies

RMSCVA COVID-19 RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES

Your safety is our utmost concern. We at RMSCVA are taking serious and comprehensive measures to reduce the risk our staff could become exposed and infected and reduce the patient risk to become exposed and infected. We want you to be confident that we are providing best practices and exceeding recommendations to ensure your safety. Here is our list of changes that have been made: 

Healthcare Staff: RMSCVA will do the following to mitigate risk for the staff:

  1. Screen patients and every member of the staff daily, including physicians and other healthcare providers, who enter the facility. This may include such elements as questioning regarding possible risk of exposure and/or the presence of signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and checking body temperature, before the individual enters the facility.
  2. No patient or staff member can enter the clinic if they have been told they have COVID-19 or are suspected of having it, or have come in close contact with a COVID-19 positive patient (e.g., family member with whom you live tested positive or is suspected as having COVID-19 or is in isolation due to exposure).
  3. Staff are encouraged to complete as much work from home, by email, videoconference or phone as possible.
  4. Staff are instructed not to use other colleagues’ workspace- such as phones, computers, etc, due to increased contact with surfaces that are not unique to one individual
  5. Patients cannot bring anyone with them to visits with the following exceptions: partners are allowed to accompany them for early pregnancy ultrasounds, injection teaching, new patient appointments, embryo transfers or egg retrieval procedures. No other family member or friend(s) can accompany patients to visits. This is due to transmission risk of potentially infected partners to our staff, higher risks of partner’s acquiring COVID-19 by entering our building, and unnecessary use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  6. Maintain physical distancing between individuals as recommended by the US CDC. 6 feet apart for all staff members. Also 6 feet apart between staff and patient unless examining the patient, performing a procedure, assisting the patient, or drawing blood.
  7. CDC recommends wearing a face mask when in public spaces as a protective measure against asymptomatic viral transmission. All staff and patients are always required to wear a mask when in the clinic unless inside an individual office >6 feet away from other staff.
  8. A more comprehensive policy regarding proper use of PPE, and in which circumstances to use enhanced PPE, is detailed in a separate policy and procedure titled, “COVID-19 Policies: Using Enhanced or Expanded Precautions”. We will be happy to provide that to you if you would like.
  9. Each patient space will be thoroughly decontaminated before and after each patient visit. Anything touched by a patient during the visit (e.g., pen, clipboard, iPad) will be decontaminated immediately after use. Every staff member needs to decontaminate their workspace daily. The front desk receptionist window and window into the IVF/Andrology laboratory will not be opened and staff will talk through the glass.
  10. Door handles and other common surfaces will be wiped down multiple times per day.
  11. The nurses will let patients know when it is safe to exit the exam rooms to minimize interaction with another patient. Patients who do not need to check out at the receptionist desk can be escorted out the rear door of the clinic.
  12. Staff will be instructed to avoid touching one’s face, mouth and eyes.
  13. It is required that staff has frequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds (or cleansing with a sanitizing gel) as a critical component of COVID-19 risk mitigation. Prior to every encounter with a patient and immediately following every encounter with a patient hand cleansing is required.
  14. Patients will be required to bring a mask to each clinic visit, but if they don’t have one we will provide one, to protect staff principally.
  15. Patients will have limited movement through the clinic, for instance patients will remain in the room for blood drawing rather than moving them to a phlebotomy room.
  16. Testing capacity has been very limited, so it is not possible to test all staff at this time to screen for the infection. When testing is more widely available staff may be required to have testing. In particular, when antibody testing becomes available it may be possible to learn if someone has been infected and is now immune.

Patients: RMSCVA will do the following to mitigate risk for patients: 

  1. Screen patients and every member of the staff daily, including physicians and other healthcare providers, who enter the facility. This may include such elements as questioning regarding possible risk of exposure and/or the presence of signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and checking body temperature, before the individual enters the facility.
  2. No patient or staff member can enter the clinic if they have been told they have COVID-19 or are suspected of having it, or have come in close contact with a COVID-19 positive patient (e.g., family member with whom you live tested positive or is suspected as having COVID-19 or is in isolation due to exposure).
  3. Patients cannot bring anyone with them to visits with the following exceptions: partners are allowed to accompany them for early pregnancy ultrasounds, new patient appointments, embryo transfers or egg retrieval procedures. No other family member or friend(s) can accompany patients to visits. This is due to transmission risk and unnecessary use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  4. Maintain physical distancing between individuals as recommended by the US CDC: 6 feet apart between staff and patient unless examining the patient, performing a procedure, assisting the patient, or drawing blood.
  5. All staff and patients are always required to wear a mask when in the clinic unless a staff member is inside an individual office away from other staff. CDC recommends wearing a face mask when in public spaces as a protective measure against asymptomatic viral transmission.
  6. We have established a heightened frequency protocol and specific procedures for cleaning/decontaminating all surfaces touched by patients and staff during the ordinary course of operations. Each patient space will be thoroughly decontaminated before and after each patient visit. Anything touched by a patient during the visit (e.g., pen, clipboard, iPad) will be decontaminated immediately after use.
  7. Patients will be expedited from the waiting room. There will be no more than 4 patients in the waiting room at any given time and will be required to maintain 6 feet of distance apart.
  8. Patients will be instructed to avoid touching one’s face, mouth and eyes.
  9. It is required that staff has frequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds (or cleansing with a sanitizing gel) as a critical component of COVID-19 risk mitigation. Prior to every encounter with a patient and immediately following every encounter with a patient hand cleansing is required.
  10. Patients MAY be asked to arrive to the parking lot 10 minutes before their appointment time and remain in their car and we will phone them when it is permissible for them to come up to our clinic for their appointment. If a patient is late to an appointment or does not answer phone when called due to safety concerns, it may not be possible to keep that appointment and an add-on appointment at the end of the day will be required.
  11. Patients will be required to bring a mask or alternative facial covering to each clinic visit. If they do not have one at check in they will be provided with one but to preserve our PPE we ask all patients to provide their own.
  12. Patients will have limited movement through the clinic, for instance patients may be asked to remain in the room for blood drawing rather than moving them to a phlebotomy room. When appropriate, patients will be asked to exit through the back door.
  13. Videoconferencing and phone calls will continue to be utilized to limit the number of visits to our center.
  14. In the future if screening becomes available for both the infection and immunity we may encourage or require testing for patients to document they are not infected or determine if they have been infected and are now immune.
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