As public health experts determine that it is safe to see patients, and governments lift stay-at-home restrictions, physician practices are challenged to strategically plan when and how best to reopen. As the AMA points out, there are many components of reopening.
When the time is right, it will be critical to be prepared to reopen, ready to communicate and live a new practice “normal”. In these uncertain times, making sure physical practice changes, staff training, workflow and supplies align, will be important for a successful reopening. Filling your schedule in safe and meaningful ways will help the practice sustain itself and your team. Marketing and communication to patients will help restore confidence and build trust.
Factors to Consider
Reopening for non-COVID, non-essential care is a difficult and personal choice. Top considerations should include ensuring your community or city is ready, assessing practice preparedness and confirming that patients are ready for in-person visits. You can view the CMS recommendations offered on choosing to reopen. Offering and coordinating both in-person and telehealth visits are likely going to be short and long-term needs. In-person services need to be balanced with smart scheduling practices. Workplace safety for clinicians and staff include new requirements. Equipment and cleanser are basic but necessary items to keep on hand. Even laminating signage instructions so that these surfaces can be disinfected need to be addressed. Perhaps most important is the need to communicate the “hows” and the “whats” of your practice’s “new normal” to patients in a strategic manner. Overloading patients or failing to communicate clearly and effectively can hurt your efforts and cause confusion or frustration.
We Can Help
Over the last several weeks we have brought you webinars on financial sustainability and telehealth to help our partner practices. As you prepare to reopen, we want to introduce you to a new resource. In conjunction with our consulting partner, Chirpy Bird, we bring you the Practice Recovery Kit. This kit provides practical step-by-step tools to assist in your reopening. The link can be found on our COVID-19 resource page COVID landing page . The Practice Recovery Kit includes:
- 5 ways to fill your schedule
- Practice change guidance on cleaning, “smart” scheduling, exposure, distancing, and includes access to the latest formal guidance
- The ultimate re-opening checklist
- Detailed 4-week marketing and social media plan to restore trust with patients and their families
- More than 40 pre-made social media posts, including image kit
- Comprehensive telehealth webinar and reference guide
- A coupon code to save $50 an American Medical Association (AMA) CME/CNE telehealth course offer through Thomas Jefferson University