Message from Dr. Hacker regarding the re-opening of our practice.
May 7th, 2020
To our patients:
We hope this note finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your health and safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up to date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and follow agencies’ recommendations.
For your safety and in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have implemented the following 20 protocol changes and precautions while still maintaining high-quality care in our office.
- Our staff will be asking several screening questions regarding your health. We ask that you do not enter our office if you, or someone in your family, or someone you recently were in contact with, has exhibited flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, severe muscle aches, shaking chills, or recent loss of taste or smell.
- We offer clinical strength hand sanitizer throughout the office and remind you to use these when you enter the office. You will also find stations in the reception area, hallways and just outside of bathrooms.
- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, and reading books, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Appointment times have been rescheduled and will be managed to allow for social distancing and avoid overlapping between patients. Please be patient with our administrative staff as it might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your next appointment.
- Our goal is to avoid waiting in the waiting room and try to bring every patient back to the exam rooms as quickly as possible. You will wait in your own exam room for the doctor. Our facility has enough exam rooms to accomplish this. Sometimes this may not be possible but know you have options.
- We will give our patients the option of waiting in their car or just outside the office instead of waiting area. Our staff can call you to come up when your appointments is ready. Again, our goal, though is to schedule our patients so that patients can be brought immediately to an exam room upon checking in. Please arrive on time, try your best to avoid coming more than 5 minutes early or late so that we can accomplish proper flow.
- Avoidance of signing paperwork and check in documents, while in waiting room or while standing at reception counter. This will be done in the examination room and with gloves on to avoid contamination of pen and paper.
- We request that your wear your own mask upon entering the facility.
- We will be giving each patient clean gloves to wear in the examination rooms.
- Each patient will be given a clear plastic bag to hold all your belongings to avoid your personal items touching exam room floors, counters and equipment.
- Our administrative staff will be greeting you behind countertop plexiglass barriers.
- Our staff will be wearing masks and clinical staff will be wearing masks, shields and other protective garments.
- Before being brought back to an examination room, we will be taking temperatures with a laser no touch thermometer. If we are concerned by either history or temperature verification, that you may not be 100% well, for the safety of our patients and staff , we will ask you to reschedule your appointment and follow up with your primary care doctor.
- Our waiting room chairs have been rearranged and blocked off to maintain social distancing.
- We ask that our patients come alone to your appointment, whenever possible, as only the patient will be permitted in the exam room.
- All areas of our office continue to undergo nightly professional cleaning, sanitizing and sterilization of equipment. This has not stopped and will not stop.
- Our staff has been trained to perform extensive cleaning of every room and surface after each patient and throughout the day.
- To avoid waiting at check out, if there are any insurance concerns, our staff will talk to you in the examination room.
- We will perform electronic prescription refills after you have left, we will ask for your pharmacy location and number in the exam room.
- Your follow up appointment will be made as you exit, and you will be given a reminder card.
We are planning a limited basis opening Monday, May11th, 2020. This first week will be limited to only surgeries for our skin cancer patients that have had delays in their treatments or non-cancer patients that have had delays in critical treatments.
The next week, staring on Monday, May 18th, 2020, we will be scheduling new and follow up patients for care of more routine dermatology problems.
And, finally, we will still be providing telehealth services for those patients unable to make it into our office.
Please note that while we do our best to minimize the risk of COVID-19, by entering our office, you are acknowledging that all exposure risks cannot be eliminated.
Steven M. Hacker, MD and on behalf of all our doctors