The Checkup

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5 Tips to Prepare Your Waiting Room for the New Normal

May 11th, 2020

As practice and clinic owners begin focusing their attention on reopening, we rounded up a few tips we thought you might find helpful. For a more in-depth checklist on how to keep you, your staff, and your patients safe, check out this great article by AAPD. Most importantly, check with your local, state, and federal governments and implement any required regulations for reopening your practices.

 

1. Revise Your Waiting Area Seating Arrangement

There are many options to consider, so do what works best for your space. Some options include removing chairs, adding curtains/sheets between seats, or spreading your chairs out into unused areas/rooms if you have the space to accommodate. If you see kids in your practice, consider arranging chairs in ‘pods’ to accommodate the patient, a parent, and possibly a sibling. If you have IDS benches or other connected seating options, consider marking designated seats to help patients keep their distance from one another.

 

2. The Less People in the Waiting Room, the Better

If you want to eliminate non-essential personnel in the building, ask patients and their families to wait/fill out any paperwork in their car. Call or text them on their cell phones when you are ready for them to come in. You can ask that any additional family members remain in the car if possible, to avoid overcrowding the waiting room or treatment area.

 

3. Reduce the Number of Interactive Touchpoints
Reduce the number of patient interaction touchpoints. For example, wipe downs pens and credit card machines between patients and lessen pen/form transfers through contactless solutions, such as emailing receipts.

 

4. Help Maintain the Distance

Use floor stickers to encourage your patients to allow proper social distancing from front of house staff and other patients waiting inside. To help with this, IDS has created a variety of floor stickers based on our most popular themes, available for you to order a cost.

Go to IDSkids.com/carepackage or call 1-888-884-4102 to request floor stickers for your office.

 

5. Eliminate Unnecessary Contact Points
Reduce the number of contact points in your waiting room. Mark play areas off-limits and turn off video game consoles; take away any magazines or toys that you would normally provide to your patients to help pass the time.

 

We hope you found these tips insightful. Visit our Facebook page and let us know if you have any other great tips for implementing social distancing measures in a professional environment!

 

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