As we head into the last quarter of the year, it’s good to review safety procedures and protocols especially as they relate to COVID-19 and emerging variants. Are you operating a nursing home, women’s wellness center, community clinic, outpatient imaging center? Let’s take care to make sure our workers and patients are safe and feel comfortable to continue their routine exams and screenings.
Freshen up on best practices you should implement at your facility to ensure end-to-end safety for both patients and workers.
Don’t Forget the Basics
A wellness check can be performed before entering. Taking the patron’s temperature with a laser gun and asking a series of questions pertaining to their health can offer a baseline comparison to assess if they are well and able to enter at that time. Providing masks to anyone who needs them is also vital.
Requiring hand sanitizing before entering the facility is usual practice in many facilities. Having alcohol-based hand sanitizer and washing stations accessible throughout the facility is one defense. Washing hands at certain times can be required for general cleanliness and hand hygiene.
Wearing PPE while in the facility can help prevent the spread. Approved facemasks, goggles, gloves, hair nets, shoe coverings, and more can be implemented at the job site. These pieces provides a barrier between a person’s skin, mouth, nose, and eyes, and viral or bacterial infection.
Maintaining distance can help. Workers making sure they are at least six feet from one another should be a goal. Doctors and nurses beginning appointments with patients by getting initial information through an iPad remotely from the next room can minimize time spent face-to-face. Another way to maintain distance is to manage patient flow—the fewer people on-site at any given time, the better.
While everyone should constantly be cleaning their area throughout the day, having a designated cleaning person with knowledge of which cleaners to use on which surfaces can increase this effort. For example, hydrogen peroxide kills Coronavirus on metallic surfaces. Otherwise, soap and water, bleach, or 70% alcohol-based cleaner to wipe down high-touch surfaces throughout the day has proven to eliminate Coronavirus.
Providing literature, statistics, news and local information regarding COVID-19 can be made available throughout healthcare facilities for those interested in learning more.
Supplement information can also be made available. In addition to taking vitamins C and D on a daily basis, zinc, essential oils, probiotics, and other immune-building substances can be emphasized. Attaining optimal nutritional status can bolster immunity and protect against disease.
Imaging and COVID Safety
If you operate diagnostic imaging tools like x-rays, MR machines, CAT scan machines, you should be very wary of your safety procedures for those who either have COVID or may be a Person Under Investigation for COVID. The American College of Radiology has guidance on these situations as they relate to MR use:
“For patients with known active COVID-19 infection and Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19, the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommends that practitioners minimize the use of MR except when absolutely necessary, and postpone all non-urgent or non-emergent exams. In some cases, the use of alternative imaging methods such as point of care or portable imaging may be appropriate. As with all imaging, the impact of the results of the imaging must potentially affect imminent clinical management.” More here.
For questions about proper cleaning and disinfection of imaging equipment, consult with the manufacturer of your machines and check with the CDC for guidance.
Check out this interesting read: COVID-19 pandemic: Cleaning and disinfection – What should the radiologist know?
Healthcare facilities have the power to serve and protect their communities. They have the responsibility to inform, educate, and heal. They can take action for the well-being of their workers, patients, and the public.
At Vesta Teleradiology
Even though we are a remote radiology company, we ensure the best sanitizing, disinfecting, and cleaning protocols in our offices. And of course, with such technology that our teleradiology services come with, our services are contactless and touch-free. When you partner with us, a Gateway application is installed remotely to allow your systems direct access to our PACS. Once linked, your technicians send exams straight from your machine to our PACS. Vesta account specialists assign it to the proper physician who read and dictate the report, it’s uploaded to your branded template where it’s easily accessible for your facility to access and download!<
With Vesta’s solutions, we offer a user-friendly portal for physicians to view all reports as soon as they’re available, and they are customizable, too with your facility’s information and logo. Any critical findings are immediately shared with the facility via phone, email or text.