The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many industries to rethink their safety protocol and how their commercial facilities are laid out to provide adequate comfort and safety for employees and customers. Medical facilities such as chiropractic offices require physical and close contact for a significant portion of patient appointments, meaning chiropractors must take measures to maintain social distancing. Sneeze guards for chiropractors, clear signage, and encouraging the use of face masks and hand sanitizer can help keep your facility safe and efficiently manage appointments.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new infectious disease that is caused by the recently discovered coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus is highly contagious and is spread primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. Those infected with COVID-19 don’t always show symptoms, meaning social distancing is essential at all times. Since there are no existing vaccines or treatments for COVID-19, the worldly population is encouraged to practice respiratory etiquette, social distancing, and wash or sanitize frequently.
What is Social Distancing?
Due to COVID-19 being highly contagious and easily spread, the CDC has released guidelines for social distancing to minimize the chances of infection in high-risk populations and reduce the impact on health care facilities and workers. According to the CDC, social distancing includes maintaining a 6-foot distance from those around you, avoiding mass gatherings, and staying out of congregate settings. Following these guidelines helps keep our communities and commercial facilities healthy. Along with social distancing, regular handwashing or sanitizing is encouraged.
How to Set Your Chiropractic Office Up For Success
There are many different ways chiropractors can equip their office to prevent further spread of COVID-19. From adding sneeze guards and signage to encouraging the use of face masks and hand sanitizer, these simple steps will help your facility communicate the importance of safety and cleanliness to the consumer market.
There are many high-traffic areas within a chiropractic office, meaning it’s imperative to equip your facility with reliable protection adequately. Reception areas and treatment rooms can be outfitted with sneeze guard panels and barriers to reduce the spread of harmful respiratory droplets during close-quarter interactions. Transparent plexiglass or polycarbonate sneeze guard shields can be added to reception desks to protect staff and patients during check-in, scheduling, and patient intake. Sneeze guard panels and barriers are available in an assortment of sizes, designs, and custom solutions. Along with a chiropractic office’s reception areas, sneeze guards can also be added to treatment rooms. During a chiropractor appointment, physical and close contact between the chiropractor and patient is required for treatment, meaning custom sneeze guard solutions will likely be necessary to maintain an ideal customer experience.
Clear + Frequent Signage
Communicating to your patients that social distancing and other preventative measures are encouraged is vital in keeping your chiropractic clinic safe and sanitary during COVID-19. Many states across the United States have been stressing the use of face masks that cover the nose and mouth. Face masks are encouraged to be worn indoors and outdoors in many locations, and some have even made it mandatory. Clear, frequent signage should be posted throughout your chiropractic clinic to stress the importance of face masks and social distancing. This will give your patients peace of mind and help maintain a safe and comfortable environment for both patients and employees. Floor demarcations can also be used to show appropriate social distancing requirements in both reception areas and treatment rooms. If reception areas have seating for patients, blocking off every other chair is another efficient way of encouraging social distancing during every visit.
Face Masks + Hand Sanitizer
Face masks are highly encouraged as these coverings help prevent the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria that travel in respiratory droplets. It’s essential to remind chiropractic patients to bring a quality face mask to their appointment, and for employees to be wearing one at all times. Reception areas should have extra disposable masks available for patients to utilize should they not come prepared. Along with the use of face masks, regular handwashing and sanitizing are encouraged. Chiropractic facilities should have hand sanitizing stations set up for patients to stop at upon entering the office and periodically throughout their visit to keep the spread of germs at a minimum. While hand sanitizer is helpful and practical, chiropractic facilities should also stress the importance of handwashing with signage effectively placed around the office to remind employees and patients.
Establishing reformed control of appointments will also help chiropractic offices maintain effective social distancing requirements. No walk-ins should be allowed, meaning every patient must have a scheduled appointment to receive chiropractic services. Appointments can be blocked out to guarantee there won’t be too many individuals in the office at once, so social distancing requirements can be followed. Along with blocked out appointments, patients should be encouraged to come alone and not bring any other family members or friends to their visit. At the beginning of each appointment, patients should be required to fill out a COVID-19 screening questionnaire to determine whether they’re eligible to receive care at the time of their appointment. The questionnaire will cover the following:
- Possible Exposure
To further protect yourself and your employees, some chiropractic care types could be completed through telemedicine services. While most chiropractic care requires physical and close contact between the doctor and patient, new patient consults, and weekly check-ins could be conducted virtually. Along with this, chiropractic offices could encourage patients to communicate through telemedicine to determine if the treatment is completely necessary before coming in for a face-to-face appointment or if there are alternative measures a patient can practice, such as stretching, heat, or ice.
Enhance Your Chiropractic Office’s Safety Today
There are many different preventative steps chiropractic offices can take to finetune their facilities’ safety and build a pleasant environment for both patients and staff. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many to equip their establishments with sneeze guards to reduce the spread of dangerous bacteria, viruses, and germs in respiratory droplets. Along with sneeze guards, chiropractic offices can utilize clear signage and encourage the use of face masks and hand sanitizer. Chiropractors may find benefit in rethinking their scheduling and appointment style to promote social distancing and keep capacity at a comfortable, safe amount. Optimize your chiropractic office’s safety plan today by reforming your policies and procedures to protect patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.