COVID-19 Guidance for Your Practice
The following article was originally published by the Colorado Dental Association (CDA).
During a time where everyone is on high alert, we are faced with the challenge of how to best manage our practices despite universal precautions and OSHA protocols already in place.
The CDA has ongoing communication with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), as well as the governor’s office to be sure that our response to this rapidly changing pandemic is consistent with the best science available and public health protocols. The continued spread of COVID-19 pressures all of us to crisis plan and react to a rapidly changing situation.
At this time there is not a state or national requirement for dentists to cease practicing, however, this decision is ultimately up to each dental practice and we encourage practice owners to assess all risks associated with dental staff and patient safety.
2. Screen your patients BEFORE they arrive for their appointments. At the time of appointment reminders, ask these important screening questions:
- Have you traveled internationally in the past 15 days?
- Have you come into contact with anyone who has traveled internationally in the past 15 days?
- Have you come into contact with anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus?
- Have you or any member of your household been to the mountains since March 7? *
- Do you currently have a cold?
- Have you been sick in the past 14 days?
- Do you currently have a fever?
- Have you had a fever in the past 14 days?
4. In addition to cleaning treatment areas between patients, be sure to also clean waiting room chairs, doorknobs, pens and other surfaces.
5. Remove magazines, toys and patient waiting room entertainment items.
6. To help maintain social distancing, consider implementing a virtual waiting room where patients can wait in their cars until you text them to come inside for their appointments.
7. Consider restricting or postponing preventive or elective treatment appointments.
8. Consider postponing appointments with those who are elderly, immunocompromised, pregnant or part of an at-risk population.
Have a plan in place in the event of an office closure.
|* On March 15, CDPHE issued a strong recommendation that anyone who lives or has visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin or Gunnison counties since March 7 restrict all contact with other people, whether or not they are experiencing symptoms. Read more|
1. Be sure all employees have a clear understanding of the sick leave policy and PTO benefits.
2. Make an agreement with a nearby dental office to take on dental emergencies if you are unable to do so.
3. Have remote access to your patient schedule for the following 2-4 weeks and a way to contact patients if needed.
4. Read and be familiar with your insurance policies. Do any of your plans offer coverage in the event you’re forced to close your practice under these circumstances?
5. Have a message prepared for patients in the event of an office closure (several messages may be needed for voicemail, text, website, social media, door posting, etc.)
These are uncertain times without concrete answers but MADD & CDA are committed to providing dental offices with the most up-to-date information available. In addition, you can find more information at mddsdentist.com/covid19 or cdaonline.org/covid19.
The Metro Denver Dental Society is a not-for-profit component society of the American Dental Association and the Colorado Dental Association.