How Dental Practices Pre-Screen for COVID-19
Dental hygienists have their own checklists that they perform each day at the office. But with the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, the addition of pre-screening checklists have become necessary.
These serve as a way to screen patients before entering the dental practice. With the safety of you and your co-workers on the line, it is important to know what to ask patients so that the spreading of coronavirus is reduced.
To ensure that you and your practice knows what to ask patients, let’s go over the pre-screening checklist for COVID-19.
Important Questions to Ask
Have you been in contact with anyone who has coronavirus within the last two weeks?
Do you work in the medical field that could put you at risk for exposure?
Have you traveled outside of the country within the last two weeks?
Do you have a fever greater than 98.6 degrees?
Has your throat recently become sore?
Have you recently developed a cough?
Do you have shortness of breath?
What to Do If Your Patient Answers “Yes”
If this happens, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t automatically mean that they have COVID-19. It simply means that it is a possibility and that immediate isolation is necessary.
This ensures the safety of other patients, as well as all of the staff. If the patient was already in the office at the time of their screening, they should be placed in a room separating them from everyone else.
If they aren’t already wearing a medical mask, provide one to them to help limit transmission to other people. This will go a long way in keeping others in the office safe.
Once inside the room, you should contact their family doctor for further instructions. It’s possible that they were recently treated for a cold, and pose no threat of spreading the coronavirus.
To ensure that scenarios like the one above don’t occur, consider screening your patients outside. Having them wait in their cars is a great way to reduce the risk of exposure.
This will allow you to speak with them at a safe distance. And it will help to avoid potential contamination within the office.
You might want to start calling all of your upcoming appointments and asking them these questions over the phone. The closer you can speak with them before their appointment, the better.
If any of your patients answer “yes” to any one of the pre-screening questions, push their appointment out two weeks. This will give them time to get tested for coronavirus to determine if they are carrying the disease.
It will also allow them to self-quarantine. Once they have been able to determine that they’ve not had any symptoms for 14 days, you should be able to safely see them for their dental appointment.
Taking these extra steps can make all the difference in the safety of your dental practice. Fill out our form or download our app to join Stynt!