At Union County Orthopaedic Group, we continue to implement health and safety measures to protect our patients and staff as much as possible during this COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last couple of months, a majority of our appointments have been done through telehealth as we tried to reserve office appointments for more urgent appointments, and our Clark office was closed altogether. We are now ready to start a “phased re-opening” to be able to able to see more patients in our offices, while still observing all of the necessary safety protocols. Many patients with injuries causing them excruciating pain have had to forego in-person follow-up care with their doctor over the last number of weeks, and we want to be able to give them a chance to receive the necessary care.
Phased Re-Opening: Now Allowing Office-Based Visits for More Injuries & Conditions
We started a phased approach the first week in May as we gradually opened up more appointment slots for in-office visits with our providers, while still continuing to offer telemedicine appointments. The slow re-introduction of office-based visits has allowed us to review our processes, bring back the necessary staff, and make sure that safety measures in place are effective as patient volume slowly increases, but still remains low. Over the next couple of weeks, more of our providers who have not had office hours for some time now, will be back in the office seeing patients. We will also re-open our Clark location. As we do all of this, we will keep the number of appointments limited so that our waiting rooms do not fill, and everyone is able to observe proper social distancing.
Throughout this phased approach of gradually starting to see more patients in the office, we will be sure to take incremental steps and not rush any of this process. We need to make sure that we continue to put health and safety first, for each of our patients and staff members. At some point in the near future, we also expect that the NJ Governor will announce a date when we will once again be able to perform elective surgeries and procedures. Once this occurs, we will need to take a phased approach here as well. Over the coming weeks we will be reaching out to anyone who has been waiting for a surgery or procedure to begin planning the next steps for when that announcement eventually comes.
Important COVID-19 Protocols for All Patients
We will always keep safety front and center, and we will strive to make the appointment process as efficient as possible, but we ask for everyone’s cooperation in following some important steps and being aware of our protocols:
- All Patients Screened – All patients will be screened in the office for COVID-19 using a questionnaire, and we will also begin taking the temperatures of patients prior to entering the exam area.
- Facemasks Required – Facemasks or face coverings are required for anyone entering our facility. We will not be able to allow anyone without a facemask to enter.
- No Visitors Allowed With Patients – No visitors will be allowed to accompany patients or wait in the waiting room unless they are the parent of a patient who is a minor or they are required to support an incapacitated patient in their activities of daily living. Visitors should wait in their car and we will be happy to call them by phone from the exam room if they want to be a part of the exam.
- Observe Safety on Elevators – No more than 4-6 individuals should be on the elevator at any one time. Please observe the stickers on the floor that you will see added within the next few weeks, which indicate where to stand.
- Observe Social Distancing in Office – Please maintain a safe distance (6 feet if possible) from all other individuals in the office. When sitting in the waiting room, please observe the signs indicating which chairs you should not sit in. If the waiting room limit has been reached, we will ask patients to wait in their car until we call them up by phone.
- Use Hand Sanitizer – Dispensers with hand sanitizer have been placed at each front desk location in our offices and also at the entrance to the office in Linden. Please sanitize hands upon entry each and every time.
Safety Protocols We Are Taking
Union County Orthopaedic Group will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and other sources as we continue to regularly update safety protocols to protect our patients and staff. Below are some of the protocols we have adopted:
- Telemedicine appointments will continue to be offered for anyone who would like an appointment.
- All staff are required to wear facemasks.
- Any iPads that are being used will be disinfected between each and every use.
- Regular cleaning and disinfecting of all office furniture in waiting rooms and exam rooms throughout the day; especially frequently touched surfaces.
- Plexiglass barriers have been installed wherever possible to offer staff and patients more protection.
- A glass barrier is being installed at the front desk in the Clark location.
- Staff is being tested for antibodies and will have their temperature monitored daily using a non-contact thermometer.
- Staff is regularly sanitizing and washing hands throughout the day.
- Restricting vendors and extra visitors from entering our facility.
We hope that the safety protocols we have put in place will make you more comfortable in coming to our office to be seen. We will continue to update these on a daily and weekly basis. Call our office today at (908) 486-111 to schedule your appointment or request an appointment online. We look forward to providing everyone with the same high quality of care that you are accustomed to receiving. Please keep you and your family safe during this difficult time.