Practice Advice

Reducing Staff Exposure From Each Other In Your Functional Medicine Practice

As a functional medicine practice, you are no doubt following the guidelines handed down by your Board and the CDC to limit exposure between the staff and patients. However, do you have guidelines in place to reduce staff from exposing each other to the Coronavirus? Medical offices across the US are beginning to see the holes in their staff interactions and how it is causing pockets of staff members to be quarantined.  

Smaller offices are at even greater risk of shutting down fully if one of the staff members or doctors tests positive. Generally, a small staff interacts with each other all throughout the day, meaning everyone that had pro-longed exposure will need to quarantine. 

Regardless of the size of your office, here are a few things you can put in place to reduce the staff from exposing each other. 

1. Wear Masks When in Close Proximity at All Times

Not even medical staff is accustomed to wearing their masks all day long. They are itchy and hot, especially the KN95’s. Also, since proper PPE has been so hard to get ahold of, everyone is doing what they can to conserve. However, wearing masks when in close proximity will reduce exposure and potential office closures. 

Here are a few instances where staff members should wear masks:

During The Morning Huddle or Staff Meetings

Hearing each other with a mask on is one of the reasons many offices haven’t been wearing them during their morning huddles or staff meetings. Unless you have a room that is large enough to provide 6 feet between each person, everyone should wear a mask. 

In The Breakroom 

While it’s unrealistic to eat with a mask on, they should be worn in the breakroom while preparing food. Once they get to their spot, they can remove their mask until they get up again. 

When Consulting at The Front Desk

Anytime you are consulting with the front desk, you and your team should have a mask on or get on the other side of the plastic barrier. Since the front has to answer the phone, wearing a mask is not possible. That’s why all other staff should keep their distance, utilize the plastic barriers, and put on their mask to speak to them. 

2. Social Distance During Breaks and Lunch

To allow enough space for your team to practice social distancing, you may need to stagger breaks and lunchtime. If you have the building space, you could set up more than one breakroom so that they can still go to lunch at the same time. However, many offices have had exposure during lunches and break times that have otherwise been following social distancing at all times. 

3. Plastic Dividers For The Front Desk

If you have more than one person at your front desk, they will need a solution to limit exposure from each other. As already mentioned, wearing a mask is not realistic for those that have to answer the phone. Other considerations will need to be made such as setting up plastic barriers between their workspace or setting up office space in another room. 

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