We are Open Again!
Dear Family of patients, Friends and Colleagues,
The world is a different place since we last had our doors open. We sincerely hope that you and your loved ones have been well and safe during these weeks. We have been diligently preparing, taking courses, webinars, researching and implementing systems that will enhance the safety of our office so that we can continue to provide the relational, individualized care you have grown to expect. We will be implementing Enhanced Patient Protection Protocols when we open our office on May 18, 2020 for some services.
We are committed to providing safe, individualized care and to that goal; we have implemented these protocols, which we want to make you aware of. We want patients to be well informed of these enhanced safety measures so that together, we can maintain the level of care and safety you deserve and have had in the past.
Using guidelines from the CDC, ADA, OSHA, EPA we have implemented a tiered approach to enhanced safety. Our plan involves first and foremost a Screening Mechanism so that we aim to admit only healthy patients to the office. Secondly we have an Air and Surface Management Program to achieve the highest level of disinfection of the environment. We will be applying Social Distancing Standards to minimize contact with others. We will be using Advanced Personal Protection Gear so that we have the highest level of protection available for you and ourselves.
Please take the time to read the information below as it pertains to you and your next appointment. ENHANCED PATIENT PROTECTION PROTOCOLS
SCHEDULING APPOINTMENTS and SCREENING:
1. If you had an appointment during the time the office was closed due to the pandemic restrictions, our team will reach out to you to reschedule. Please feel free to call or email regarding your schedule.
2. If you currently have an appointment, we will be contacting you (as we usually do). PLEASE return the call to confirm. We must speak with each scheduled patient to review required screening questions. As a courtesy to many other patients that are backlogged in their appointments, we need to know well ahead if you cannot keep your appointment.
3. Dr. Ramos is now taking virtual appointments. If you feel more comfortable with a video consultation or if we need to speak with you about another issue before the appointment we have the teledentistry option. Call the office for instructions.
4. If you have flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, body aches, loss of taste/smell or shortness of breath) over the last 14 days, OR exposure to anyone who is known to have or suspected of having COVID-19, you will not be allowed an appointment until you are symptom free for 14 days after your last symptom. You will be monitored with symptom questionnaires until it is deemed safe to be seen. The clearance of your physician may be required.
NEW ARRIVAL PROCEDURES + SOCIAL DISTANCING:
1. Please arrive 5-10 minutes before your appointment. If you are 15 minutes late or more, please call the office from your car to verify that you can keep the appointment. Arriving late jeopardizes our work and safety flow for you and others and it may be necessary to reschedule.
2. We ask that you NOT bring any family member or friend with you unless they are needed for assistance or is an accompanying parent of a child. Our waiting room is now set up for social distancing.
3. PLEASE wear your own mask or face-cover to the office and keep it on until you are seated in the treatment room. Replace your mask at the end of treatment and keep it on until you exit the office. We do not have extra masks to give out due to shortages. For your comfort you may want to bring a sweater or blanket to keep warm.
4. You will be asked to sanitize your hands upon arrival.
5. You will be asked to fill out a medical history update and screening questionnaire and your temperature will be taken before your appointment. It would be best if you brought your own pen.
6. It would be best if you use the rest room at home before your appointment, but if you need to use the restroom while in the office, we ask that you wash your hands after use.
AIR AND SURFACE MANAGEMENT ENHANCED PROTOCOLS:
1. For more than 30 years the dental profession has been uniquely trained to deal with pathogens and we have been diligently and annually retrained in universal precautions for infection control during all procedures. We will continue our well-ingrained precautions but have incorporated updated and more rigorous routines for the new circumstances of the pandemic.
2. You will be asked to do a pre-procedure rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash. We have been ahead of the curve for years by implementing the aerosol-reducing device, the Isolite system. We will continue to use Isolite for your comfort and protection and expand use into hygiene appointments as well.
3. While the office has been closed Dr. Ramos has installed an advanced medical grade air purification system that includes UV-C air sterilization in the HVAC system as well as surgical grade Medify true HEPA-13 air purifiers in each operatory. In addition our air quality specialists company has installed HEPA and ionization filter boxes in the HVAC system. We are proud to say that few dental offices are installing this level of air purification that is not mandated.
4. In addition to the meticulous surface disinfection we have always done, with EPA and CDC approved surface disinfection agents, we have added UV-C sterilization lamps to our room turn-over multiple times a day as well as fogging with natural, safe antimicrobial mist.
5. We have installed glass partitions separating areas of administration from the clinical areas as well as barriers to partition the operatory rooms.
ADVANCED PERSONAL PROTECTION GEAR+PROCEDURES
1. In addition to the standard universal precautions we have always taken, we have expanded our personal protection equipment (PPE) and tailored it to correspond to the procedure and area of the office to better protect you.
2. In addition to the gloves, masks and gowns you are accustomed seeing us in, we will also have face shields, N95 respirators or similar masks and head covers.
3. We will undergo pre-work screening and decontamination before work, between patients and after work following guidelines outlined by governing agencies and often above and beyond what is mandated.
4. We love our patients and have often given and received handshakes and hugs. During this unusual time we will refrain from social physical contact, but rest assured we are happy to see you and look forward to catching up with you.
WE KNOW THIS IS PLENTY OF INFORMATION TO PROCESS AND WE APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORT. WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY AND NATION AND OUR GOAL IS TO CARE FOR YOU AS WELL AS WE CAN.
PLEASE remember that beneath all the extra layers of PPE, we are here to serve you as we have always been and we are still your dental family and friends.
Dr. Alicia Ramos and Team