There was a time that an empty waiting room was the last thing a medical practice wanted to see. Patients packed in chair to chair indicated a “healthy” and “robust” practice. Things have changed. For Dr Jafri, an empty waiting room at The Nose Institute is a sign that things are going well and being done properly to ensure the safety of his patients and his staff.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives in ways we may not have even fully realized yet. At the same time, it has shown us how helpful and powerful the utilization of science, reason, and medicine can be when it comes to responding to these dire and difficult situations.
Currently we have implemented and are enforcing the following safety protocols at our office locations:
- patient screening prior to scheduling office visits
- COVID-19 testing prior to any surgery or invasive procedures
- mask wearing by all staff and patients at all times (double masking encouraged)
- maintaining 1 patient in the office at a time with timed intervals between patients arriving and leaving
- utilizing HEPA air filters in waiting area and exam rooms
- open windows to provide circulating air ventilation in exam rooms
- utilizing Telemedicine / Virtual Visits whenever indicated to limit patients in the office
- Povidone iodine rinses as indicated for clearing the nasal and oral passages of viral and bacterial loads
- Highest grade sterilization techniques and cleansers for office equipment and instruments
- Paperless and electronic registrations and communications throughout the patient care process
As an ENT and upper airway specialist with long standing interest in medical technology and telemedicine, Dr Kamran Jafri realized in the early days of the pandemic the need for implementing his medical knowledge and the latest and most innovative safety standards for his patients, staff and loved ones. The decision was made quickly to convert visits to telemedicine and virtual visits during the earliest and darkest days of the pandemic to ensure the highest safety protocols possible during that time. The good news is that with the advent of increased mask use, social distancing, and wider vaccination of the general population we will as a society and community emerge stronger and better from these difficult days.
One thing that we have noticed as a practice is that some of the changes we have implemented for keeping people safe actually improved our efficiency in patient care and advanced our use of technology to the point that we are a better practice for it. Dr Jafri has decided that many of the things we have been doing during the pandemic should remain in place even after we are back to normal:
- have blocked patient visits where only 1 patient is seen at a time in the office
- limit staff in the office only to essential days and times and keeping them distanced from patients
- utilizing Telemedicine / Virtual Visits for patients has proven to be the best way to increase our efficiency and has been exceptionally well received by our patients.
We have been able to maximize patient care by offering Telemedicine / Virtual Visits for the following types of patient encounters:
- patients that have already been examined and treated and just need routine follow up
- patients that need an initial assessment where their problem can be triaged and any medications or tests can be ordered while not wasting time before they come in
- patients that need to review test results, sleep studies or imaging reports
- pre-surgical consultations to go over questions, consents, plan of care and the recovery process
The Nose Institute utilizes a state of the art, HIPAA compliant Telemedicine platform that patients have found easy to use with no glitches to deal with – it has truly been a revelation for Dr Jafri and his patients and will be a fully integrated part of the practice going forward.
We look forward to seeing you – whether in office or virtually and be assured we are working hard every day to keep you safe and your care as thorough and efficient as possible.
For more information on help and resources for the COVID-19 pandemic please visit:
STAY SAFE, STAY STRONG, STAY POSITIVE… WE WILL GET BY