Wow. It’s been a month since we were given the go ahead by NYS to open. Back then I wrote up a very extensive plan for a safe reopening. In the last month we have had to adjust to these guidelines and are getting use to the “new way” of doing medicine. New consultations are now done via phone or via Zoom. Everyone has been filling out the Covid19 questionnaire form. Everyone has worn their masks (although there were some who forgot, gave them one). Each patient who came in had their temperatures taken. I’m wearing my PPE and every room is broken down and cleaned after each patient. (Honestly, that’s the easy part. We have always done that). although we have many restrictions, I believe NY is getting closer to a clean bill of health EVERYDAY. We are so close to getting back to normal. No, things aren’t the same, but our patients are sounding more and more confident and optimistic everyday, and for that I am truly grateful.
Our office is opening today, May 18th! The Acupuncture Society of New York (ASNY) gave us the good news this past week. Although there are NYS guidelines that we must follow, I feel it is vital to surpass these guidelines not only to ensure the safety of our patients, but to provide a sense of confidence to our patients, staff and families that we are going over and above. The following is a list of 10 steps we are making to our office and our operating procedures:
1. The office hours are reduced to 4 hours per day.
2. Patients appointments are limited to 2 per hour, a maximum of 10 patients per day.
3. Patients and staff will wear scrubs, nitrile gloves, face masks (practitioner will wear N95). Patients and staff will do their best to keep 6ft social distancing.
4. Patients will complete the COVID19 questionnaire form before their treatment. The form will be reviewed by the acupuncturist.
5. Upon arrival, the patient will call the office from their car to announce their arrival. The Acupuncturist will go to the patient's car, take their temperature and escort them directly to their designated treatment room.
6. Patients will be required to wear a mask, however if the treatment is prone, they will be instructed to remove the mask for comfort.
7. Treatments will be limited to Acupuncture, infrared heat, moist heat, passive stretching (clothed). No massage therapy is offered at this time.
8. Patients will be asked to go to the front reception area. A new glass barrier was installed to reduce the risk of infection by airborne droplets of both employees and patients.
9. Patients will have access to hand sanitizing stations in the waiting area, treatment rooms and hallways.
10. All rooms will be cleaned after each patient treatment as usual. All surfaces will be wiped down with disinfectant and completely dry before the next patient uses the room. The office will be cleaned after use each day after hours. An ozone machine will be used each night to destroy any airborne virus or bacteria. A cleaning crew will be used weekly for deep professional sanitizing of the entire office.
I am confident that we have superseded the NYS guidelines in order to ensure the confidence of our patients, and to greatly reduce the risks of infection.