October 15, 2021
A message to Patients and Prospective Patients
The Covid-19 pandemic has been the sentinel event in the past decade, changing our lives possibly forever. While we may never go back to the way life was before, there are things we can do as individuals and as a society to minimize the risk to life and health, and hasten the return to a semblance of normalcy. I believe that each of us must do our part in this endeavor.
For the protection of our patients and staff, every one of our clinical and clerical staff have been fully vaccinated. Those of us eligible have also received the booster. Our office has also implemented standard screening procedures to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.
Despite the widespread availability of Covid-19 vaccines, a significant proportion of the population has been reluctant to accept the vaccine, resulting in a resurgence of the disease. Reasons vary, but this reluctance puts everyone, even those of us who are vaccinated, at increased risk.
Beginning January 10, 2022, I have instituted a new policy in our practice that patients who schedule surgical procedures must be fully vaccinated as defined by the FDA for each type of vaccine at the time of surgery, including a booster shot if eligible. Patients may still seek appointments for consults without vaccination, but must agree to be vaccinated when scheduling the surgery. We do this for the safety of our patients, staff, their family and friends.
The Covid-19 virus has forced us all to change the way we live and conduct our business. Our practice essentially has been closed since mid-March, only conducting new consults by video. We hope to start operating again in late May, depending on the recommendations from the Governor’s office. However, once we do re-open there will be quite a few changes in our policies.
Be assured that once in-person patient visits and surgeries are available again, we will be taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety of our patients and staff, as guided by the CDC, OSHA, and the AAAASF (our accrediting organization). This will require changes in our physical office (spacing of waiting room chairs, no magazines, barriers at the main desk, etc.), as well as what patients can expect when visiting the office.
All appointments will be spaced in order to encourage having only one patient in the office at a time. Obviously this will require fewer appointments allowed each day and will likely mean some delays in securing an appointment. However, we will continue to offer new patients the option to schedule their consultation via Zoom. We also will discourage any additional people attending office visits, unless absolutely necessary.
All individuals, whether patients or caregivers, will have their temperature taken and be given questionnaires asking about any potential symptoms, any contact with potential Covid-carriers, and any recent travel. Masks or face coverings will also be required.
Naturally, our offices will be professionally sanitized daily, and more often as needed. All office staff will be required to wear PPE devices, have their temperature taken daily, and are trained to ensure proper social distancing.
This has been a very trying time for all of us, but with intelligent and prudent modifications in our behavior and practices we all will be able to move forward safely.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at (608) 271-0500
The team at Dr. Bartell’s office