COVID-19 Patient Information
COVID-19 OFFICE MANUAL
This manual is to provide you with safety protocols for our office staff and patients safety.
Pre-Appointment Screening Process
The following questions can be used for screening patients in advance of their office visit.
Identify yourself, the office/ doctor's name and ask to speak with the patient or the patient's parent or legal guardian. After explaining the purpose for the call, such as an appointment reminder, proceed with patient screening questions.
Positive responses to any of these would likely indicate a deeper discussion with the dentist before proceeding with elective dental treatment. For testing, see the list of State and Territorial Health Dept treatment.
Inform patients that these questions will be repeated and their temperature will be taken when they arrive at the office in order to ensure nothing has changed since the phone screening/conversation.
Remind patients/ guardian to limit extra companions on their trip to your office to only essential people in order to reduce the number of people in the reception area.
Inform patients that these questions will be repeated and their temperature will be taken when they arrive at the office in order to ensure nothing has changed since the phone conversation.
If patients/parents/guardians seem reluctant in any way, reassure them that although this may seem strange, it is all being done out of an abundance of concern for their health, as well as that of the other patients being seen in the office, the doctor and the staff, and any public with whom they might come in contact.
If you need to leave a voicemail or are send a text message, ask the patient to call the office prior to their appointment for preliminary screening.
IN OFFICE PATIENT REGISTRATION PROCEDURES
Have hand sanitizer available for use
Check patients temperature must be less than 100.4F
Touchless forehead scan is convenient and produces less waste, though any thermometer is appropriate as long cleaned between uses.
If elevated temperature is noted, supply patient with mask, then alert Dentist
Complete patient screening (regardless of presence in fever)
Positive response to any of these would likely indicate a deeper discussion with the dentist before proceeding with elective dental care.
If referring patients for testing, see the list of State and Territorial Health Department websites for your specific information.
Also, remember to maintain patient confidentiality.
Consider providing new pens, for each patient and then giving it to them to keep, rather than reusing. If reusing, remember to wipe down pens between transfers back and forth.
Wipe down all doors, handles, light switches, clipboards, counters, keyboards, surfaces, anything that is being used or touched daily. Clean surfaces using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfecting.
Post-Procedural Patient Exit
Post-op instructions should include a reminder to report any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within the next 14 days.
Resource: CDC Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Setting during COVID-19.
Reception Area Prep Strategies
Protect yourself and patients with hand hygiene and cough etiquette for everyone.
Prepare the entrance of the office with hand sanitizer upon entry with a notice to sanitize before walking up to the check in counter for appointment.
Provide- Tissues, Alcohol based hand rub, soap at sinks, and trash cans for disposal.
Place chairs in the waiting area 6 feet apart, use barriers such as screens, if possible.
If the office has toys, magazines, remote controls, or other communal objects, remove them or clean them regularly.
Limit paperwork in operatory as much as possible.
Cover keyboards with disposable clear barriers, and change between patients.
Limit access to the operatory to the patient only. Supply a mask and shield to anyone.
Keep staff level in operatory to a minimum.
Mask Pre-entry (chairside staff also) as virus-containing aerosol particles may exist.
No hand shaking, or physical contact.
Wash hands and gloves in room.
Review overall health history, confirming that the screening questions were asked during check-in and review if necessary.
No documented evidence exists at this time to support the preprocedural rinses to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19.
Use professional judgment on mask removal and replacement between patients.
If you are removing your mask, do so outside the treatment room.
If the mask is soiled, damaged, or hard to breathe through, it must be replaced.
Resources: CDC Strategies for optimizing the supply of face masks.
Clean the operatory while wearing mask, gloves, and face shield or goggles.
Dispose of surface barriers after each patient.
If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent soap and water prior to disinfection.
Replace surface barriers.
Limit paperwork in rooms
Include other evacuation systems.
Staff protection strategies
Help protect office staff as you reopen the practice by utilizing the following strategies
Front desk can wear masks, goggles, or face shields, or offices can install a clear barrier.
Consider individual phone headsets for each front desk staff or reduce spread of virus.
With strict attention to staff hand hygiene, instruct staff to clean hands thoroughly
Upon entry into the workplace.
Before and after any patient contact
After contact with contaminated surfaces or equipment.
After removing PPE, refer to the ADA’s Hand Hygiene for the Dental Team.
Resources: Introduction to Hand Hygiene for Healthcare Providers.
If available, gowns should be considered
Change gown if it becomes soiled.
Disposable gowns should be discarded after use. Cloth gowns should be laundered after each use.
If scrubs are to be worn, change between street clothes and scrubs upon entry and exit, or do the same with other office garb.
Provide laundry facilities in office
Contracting with a laundry service is another option.
Long sleeved garments should be worn.
At end of the day daily wear should be removed and placed in a bag to be properly cleaned
Professional judgement should be exercised with regards to the use of disposable foot covers or head covers.
Pregnant staff members should seek and follow medical guidance from their physical regarding work
Information on COVID-19 in pregnancy is very limited offices may want to consider limiting exposure of
pregnant staff to patients, espicallialy during higher risk procedures (e.g., aerosol-generating procedures if feasible, based on staff availability.