Nuherbs Practice Building Open Forum:
We had a wonderfully productive discussion with practitioners from around the country about what they’re doing to prepare for the process of re-opening. Most states are beginning to phase in varying levels of restrictions on businesses as they begin to resume economic activities. As our practices start to see more patients, a list of concerns began to emerge in our conversations. A wide range of topics were covered, but here are some of the notable takeaways:
- Documentation should be prepared for both cases in which you will and will NOT be able to see patients at your clinic.
- Have your basic guidelines in writing for: 1) If your patient has come in contact with COVID-19/coronavirus, and 2) if your patient has been in contact with someone with symptoms of COVID-19/coronavirus, and or tested positive.
- In cases where you may not be allowing patients to come, refer to the CDC’s website an easy-to-use self-checker and guidance on monitoring for symptoms. https://covid19healthbot.cdc.gov/
- Do you have a policy for seeing high-risk patients? The CDC has a guide for risk assessment for healthcare personnel with potential exposure to COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html
- The American Medical Association has compiled a physician’s guide to COVID-19 that many acupuncture practitioners may find helpful https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/physicians-guide-covid-19
- Stick to a basic list of Standard Operating Procedures rather than something long and detailed. If you can maintain that basic list of duties, adding additional steps as necessary will allow you more flexibility in practice.
- Are any of you taking new patients? Some of our practitioners have decided that at this moment the risk is too great to see new clients for acupuncture and may utilize other tools in their practice in lieu acupuncture services (e.g. telemedicine, nutritional or herbal counseling, acupressure)
- Temporal temperature scanners and infrared thermometers are very sensitive and can give false readings. One way to manage false readings is to take the time to ask relevant and calming questions while the patient’s body comes to neutral.
- What about cupping? Are you performing facedown treatments?
- Pro tip: keep your moxa snuffer handy for extinguishing the flame. Using glass fire cups are easy to disinfect in a bleach and water solution.
- One way to assure patients’ concerns on safety in the clinic is to perform some of the disinfecting with patients present (exp: wiping down face cradles and layering cradle covers before treating patients prone)
- The CDC recommends using 1/3C per 1gal of water. You can use chlorine test strips to ensure that you're using the right mix for disinfecting.
- Disinfecting properly is of high importance and concern. For practitioners who have patients with chemical sensitivities, utilizing products that are safer for people and the environment (Seventh Generation, Clorox Green Works, etc) are their top choices. For a list of EPA approved Safer Choice products, follow the link here: https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice
- Pro tip: Placing a vinyl sheet over your massage table gives an extra layer of protection and non-porous surface for disinfecting.
- Allow ample time in between patients for proper disinfecting and aeration of the space to disperse noxious fumes from disinfectants. Keeping air circulating with open doors and an air purifier in the room can help
- PPEs are currently difficult to get a hold of. Some practitioners are trying to extend the burn rate of their existing PPEs and reusing respirators (N95 masks) is a prudent use of resources. The CDC recommends the following guidelines for how and when to reuse masks.
- Pro tip: you may be able to find disposable PPE at veterinarian suppliers
We will be taking a short break for the next couple of weeks before resuming our webinar on
Tuesday, June 2, 2020 (9am PST) Topic: TBD
The Nuherbs Practice Building Team