From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, several practices have made vivid modifications to the way the healthcare sector functions every day and deliver care. At present, practices have started to open for non-urgent appointments and elective procedures. The physicians and healthcare business owners are continuing to make modifications to treat the patients safely and safeguard their employees.
In the present social distancing world, how should waiting rooms in the hospitals or clinics be set up? We raised this question to several customers as it is not easy to adjust to this new normal. They shared various tips to limit exposure and at the same time ramp up in-person appointments. If you are wondering how to maintain social distancing through healthcare waiting room furniture
, here are some suggestions and tips you should follow.
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Patients should be informed about the new policies before their arrival:
As it is important to follow the safety rules, it is important to reduce frustration and confusion among patients by sharing new protocols before they arrive for appointments. No matter, your practice restricts children or family members from coming along or needs patients to garb face masks, the patients should be clear about the new guidelines.
Certain healthcare clinics have informed patients with signs to stay at the parking lot and wait until a nurse brings a PPE (personal protective equipment) to enter the office. Some hospitals request patients to visit a day before the appointment and look out for symptoms. They screen the patient’s temperature and associated COVID symptoms for every person entering the suite.
Keep well and sick patients separate:
If the patients are using multiple entrances, then it is important to separate individuals with COVID-19 symptoms in a quick time. The main waiting area is reserved for patients with symptoms and another entrance is reserved for elderly and weak patients who require immediate care but are not symptomatic. When it comes to maintaining social distancing in pediatric hospitals, some have allotted two well and two sick locations. After communicating with the patients they are asked to sit in sick or well rooms as per their condition.
The physicians have also separate consultation timings for well and sick patients. They will first treat well patients and later they see sick patients. They arrange chairs in the waiting room about six to eight feet distance apart. The cleaning service would thoroughly clean the entire room and place the furniture back once the physicians meet all the sick and good patients.
Ways to Organize Clinical waiting room furniture to keep social Distancing
Remove waiting room chairs: It is an effective and simple strategy. Instead of adding too many chairs in a single waiting room, it is best to limit the number of chairs. It is the best social distancing tactic but you need to have a backup plan- setting up another room for extra patients. If one waiting room is completely occupied with patients, you can redirect the patients to the second waiting room. The number of chairs should be reduced and it should be arranged by following the social distancing rule.
Skipping the waiting room: This method is also followed in certain medium and large hospitals. The patients are not allowed inside the waiting room. The hospital administrators call or send a text message to the patient and they will have to step in directly to the physician’s room. The patients are asked to wait in their cars until they receive a text message or call. They text the patients when the room is available. Besides this, they also have a sick entrance and well entrance that leads to separate treatment or consultation rooms. In recent days, patients are not allowed inside even through these entrances. They are directly called inside and permitted to meet the physician.
Some visitors say that they are waiting to utilize their waiting rooms just like before. But at present, they are following these measures to run the practice safely without causing disturbances to patients and healthcare employees.