The Challenges of Running a Medical Practice During a Pandemic (And How to Solve Them)

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the U.S. and it has prompted statewide lockdowns for over 5 months now. Because of this, companies large and small are dropping foot visitors, and in the end, income. This is particularly obvious in personal medical practices that don’t particularly deal with the pandemic.  

Medical Practices in Hot Water

A survey of greater than 700 practices within the U.S. at the beginning of the pandemic discovered that over 97% of them skilled a damaging monetary influence as a result of of causes, instantly or not directly, associated to COVID-19. Over 22% of them additionally reported shedding some of their staff to save prices. And as a result of they’re now understaffed and there aren’t many sufferers coming in, they’re compelled to reduce their work hours and scale back salaries. 

Another survey, performed by New York University and focuses particularly on the practices in NYC, discovered that greater than half of its 120 respondents felt extreme stress from decreases in income. One of the practices commented that small neighborhood clinics aren’t getting the state funds they want to assist with their operations. 

Medical practices throughout the nation are struggling to get by as a result of of COVID-19. As such, you want to make artistic and strategic adjustments to your enterprise to assist it keep afloat.  

Ensure Worker Safety

Your administrative employees, nurses, upkeep personnel, and different staff are the lifeblood of your medical apply. You ought to do all you’ll be able to to shield them from the virus whereas they’re working in your apply.

Here are some suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for worker security and assist throughout a pandemic.  

1. Make Sure Personnel Are Trained in Using PPEs

PPEs or private protecting tools are a should for everybody when going to work. Make certain that it’s not simply your patient-facing staff who use them. Even your administrative and upkeep employees needs to be carrying no less than surgical masks always at work to stop the doable unfold of the virus. Orient them utilizing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) easy-to-follow masks utilization information. It covers every part, from how to placed on a masks to how to dispose of one correctly. 

2. Create Protocols for Possible COVID-19 Exposure

Ask your employees to persistently monitor their temperature and well-being persistently whereas at work. Restrict them from going to the clinic in the event that they develop a fever or some other COVID-19 signs. If doable, give them a paid sick go away and suggest them to a testing middle. Have them return to work provided that they check damaging, absolutely get better, or no less than accomplished a two-week quarantine.

Doctor advising patient using telehealth technology

Upgrade Your Patient Service

Now that there are restricted methods to your sufferers to attain you throughout this pandemic, you want to implement methods to present care from a distance. Step up your affected person service by way of the next.  

1. Improve Your Online Presence

It’s important for each enterprise to have a web-based presence these days. After all, most clients search for native enterprise data on-line. It’s no totally different when it comes to medical practices. Apart from having a web site and a social media web page, your identify, deal with, and cellphone numbers must also be on related on-line directories and evaluate websites like Google My Business, Zocdoc, Doctor.com, and extra. This will assist clients previous and new to know precisely how to contact you for an appointment. 

2. Digitize Some of Your Services

There are restricted methods for you to present companies throughout this quarantine interval, particularly in case your apply depends on offering bodily care. However, some duties might be performed digitally by way of an digital medical report (EMR) software program. A dependable EMR utility might help you with the next: 

Online Appointment Setting. An EMR software program can let clients schedule their very own appointments on-line. They don’t have to name your receptionist they usually can do it on their very own time. 
Telemedicine Done Right. Reduce bodily contact between your employees and your sufferers by offering on-line consultations by way of the appliance’s built-in video conferencing capabilities. It helps you to present skilled medical recommendation to sufferers past your service space as properly. 
E-prescription and Patient Messaging. Customers don’t have to drive all the way in which to your clinic simply to renew their prescriptions for brand spanking new drugs. They simply want to seek the advice of with you thru video or by way of the app’s immediate messaging characteristic and you may present them with a signed digital prescription that they’ll take instantly to the pharmacy. 

EMR software program makes it extra handy to present medical companies to sufferers. However, it additionally signifies that the apps you’ll use will deal with delicate affected person data. Make certain the supplier you’re employed with ensures their software program is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) earlier than implementing them in your present system.  

Couple wearing mask during the pandemic

The pandemic isn’t slowing down any time quickly until a vaccine is created. As such, you and your sufferers can be caught on this new regular for no less than a few months extra. Use these options to hold your apply protected, accessible, and worthwhile throughout these attempting occasions.