To my dear community of patients:
I have greatly missed seeing each and every one of you and hope this message finds you all well and safe. As Oregon in general begins to re-open, we may have mixed feelings about the process. Times are uncertain, and the last couple of months have been stressful on so many levels for so many people.
Please note this is a lengthy, but vitally important message. Please take the time to read and review the information I am sharing about protocols and procedures for my clinic as I prepare to re-open.
On April 27, 2020, Governor Brown issued Executive Order No. 20-22 which allows medical, dental and other health care offices to resume elective, non-emergent procedures that require personal protective equipment (PPE), starting May 1st if the Oregon Health Authority guidance can be met.
Though I can meet the necessary requirements to open, I have chosen to wait, out of the utmost care and concern for the safety of my patients. One of the determining factors in my decision to wait is that COVID-19 cases in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties (where most of my patients live) have plateaued, but not decreased. Additionally, these same counties have not yet been authorized for Phase One re-opening. That said, all three counties are expected to apply for Phase One in the very near future and be able to meet the 7-fold criteria.
I am tentatively, conditionally planning to re-open on July 1st.
I may consider seeing some patients earlier than July 1st on a case by case basis. Some of you are on my schedule for the end of May and the month of June, and I will be reaching out to each of you to discuss. My hope is that by July, Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties will be in Phase One of re-opening, and that cases will have stabilized. This is an evolving situation as I try to stay flexible and alert to the current healthcare data.
This must be a team effort! You are all on my team. 🙂 I am doing everything that I can to provide for your safety and to quell any anxiety that you may have about coming in for treatment.
In order to for me to provide care in the safest manner possible, I am implementing many important changes in procedures and protocols due to COVID-19. Review this information prior to your next visit to my clinic.
PROCEDURES AND PROTOCOLS
- I will be wearing a KN95 mask at all times. I will be practicing immaculate hand hygiene.
- Upon arriving at the clinic, please park in the designated parking spot, D205 for my clinic and text me that you have arrived. Do NOT come into the clinic; please wait in your car for me to come to you.
- All patients are required to wear a mask at all times, and must have their mask in place when I come to your car. All patients must wear a mask for the entire visit, including while they are on the table during treatment. It is unacceptable to pull your mask down under your nose and/or mouth at any time.
- Due to the extreme increase in operating costs for my business, unfortunately I am not able to provide masks to patients. Procuring appropriate face covering is the sole responsibility of the patient.
- Masks must be appropriate hospital-style ear loop face masks, homemade or other reusable masks that use replaceable PM2.5 activated carbon filters. Bandanas and the like are unacceptable, as they do not provide adequate protection.
- Please come freshly bathed or showered and wear clean, fresh clothes. Proper hygiene is very important.
- When I come out to your car to greet you, I will take your temperature with a contactless, infrared thermometer. I will also check your blood oxygen levels with a pulse oximeter on your fingertip. Additionally, I will ask you questions about your health status, potential exposure and your adherence to social distancing.
- If everything checks out fine, I will happily escort you into the clinic. 🙂
- As you come in the front door, there is hand sanitizer to your left for your use before coming upstairs and into the treatment room. Please disinfect your hands upon entry to clinic and again when exiting.
- The waiting area will be closed. If a parent or guardian is accompanying a minor, they can wait in the waiting area only if they agree to wear a mask the entire stay and also pass the same screening criteria as the patient; otherwise they must wait in their car.
- There will be no water or tea service at this time, so plan ahead and bring your own water.
- Due to COVID-19, I will be reducing my patient load to allow for only one patient at a time. This means that the entire clinic is reserved for you only at the time of your treatment. Unfortunately, this means that I will be seeing fewer patients per day to allow for social distancing and sanitation efforts between patients.
- The entire clinic, including treatment rooms, bathroom, waiting area and entry way will be wiped down with anti-viral wipes between patients.
- I have invested in a high efficiency air purifier that is 100 times more powerful in filtration than most HEPA filtration systems. This 4-filter Ultra HEPA system can clear particles, including viruses, as small as 0.003 microns. Most HEPA filters capture only 0.3 microns. This filtration system can clean the air in the entire clinic in 20 minutes. It will be running continuously.
- I am also having the HVAC system upgraded with higher MERV value filters for even more air filtration quality.
- I will have a contactless payment system for your safety. I will be able to accept Apple Pay, Google Pay and other NFC types of payment. I will still have the ability to swipe and dip, if you have a magnetic strip or chip card, but am trying for as contactless as possible.
- If you pay by cash or check, I am requesting that you put the bills or check in a clean, sealed envelope and mark it with the amount enclosed and your name.
- And finally, if this is your first time seeing me since my clinic’s closure, you will be required to print out and sign a COVID-19 Informed Consent Form and bring it with you to your first appointment back with me. Download the form here.
- If you are a New Patient, in addition to standard New Patient paperwork, you will be required print out and sign a COVID-19 Informed Consent Form and bring it with you to your first appointment with me. Download the form here.
I want to minimize risk as much as possible to you and all of my patients. Please DO NOT schedule if you have any of the following:
- Recent onset of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Pain or pressure in your chest
- Sore throat
- Bluish lips or painful or discolored toes, lesions or blisters on the toes
- Recent onset of muscle pains
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Unusual skin changes including rashes
- Sudden loss of smell or taste
- Have been ignoring social distancing
- Have possibly been exposed
Please call me to discuss if any of the following are true:
- Have recently travelled out of state or by air
- Have recently been to a group event without social distancing
- Have recently been to a family event without social distancing (i.e. you have been with family members that do not live in your household, and social distancing was not followed)
If you are questioning whether you should keep an appointment, always feel free to contact me so we can discuss your personal situation.
Please be assured that I will not come to work if any of the above is true for me! My number one goal is for everyone’s safety, and I take social distancing very seriously!
These procedures and protocols are legally and professionally required of me. It is my job to promote health as well as safe practices. It is my sincere hope that at some time in the future, some or all of these restrictions can be relaxed, but for now we all need to do our part.
I know this all may sound cold and clinical, but I am still the same warm-hearted acupuncturist that you remember, I promise. 🙂 And, I can’t wait to see each and every one of you!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I very much appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you again.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 971.216.9913