June 4, 2020
To our valued current and prospective patients and clients,
It goes without saying that these are challenging and uncertain times for our small community, with an impact that continues to be felt each day and has caused profound disruption to our previous routines, activities, relationships, and lives. Let me say from the outset that like many, our caregivers who work on the Outpatient Rehabilitation team miss our familiar ways of working alongside each other and with you, our cherished patients. But we know that while we can lament the not-so-distant past, we now need to look ahead. Given the current state of the pandemic and acknowledging that it is a fluid and changing situation, I wanted to communicate a brief update as to our department’s current status and plans for the near future.
Since the onset of the crisis, we have remained open as an “essential service,” but with reduced operations and initially seeing only those patients with critical need for therapy care. During this time, we strengthened and augmented our screening and cleaning practices and protocols in close consultation with Queen of the Valley Medical Center’s Infection Prevention specialists. In addition, we have been fortunate to have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disinfection supplies thanks to our colleagues in the Supply Chain department and their established relationships with vendors and manufacturers. Finally, we have made some physical changes to our workspace, as well as schedule and workflow adjustments, to align our processes with county and state safety measures and guidelines.
As our operations have steadily increased with our community’s gradual “re-opening,” we feel confident we are able to provide the same level of safe, effective, and compassionate care you have come to expect. Specifically, in the interest of safety for our patients and staff, we have been employing what we refer to as the “3 Ds:”
- DEFENSE. We are screening all patients and staff daily for symptoms and fever, as well as using PPE as appropriate (masks, gloves, gowns, etc.). Patients are also required to wear masks or cloth face coverings.
- DISTANCING. We are following physical distancing recommendations and limiting the number of staff, patients, and visitors in the clinic, and have changed our waiting area layout and processes. You can learn more about visitor restrictions at thequeen.org.
- DISINFECTION. We are using CDC-approved cleaning and disinfection agents on surfaces and equipment before, after, and between patient use. Staff are regularly and frequently cleaning their hands between patients, and both staff and patients are directed to use hand sanitizer.
We appreciate your patience and support with these and other efforts we are making to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being as we navigate through this unprecedented time together. While the quality of your care has not changed, the way we provide care and services is different, and may be the “new normal” for some time. Please speak with any of our staff members or reach out to me directly if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback for us. We want your experience with us to feel safe, comfortable, and beneficial to your overall health and wellness.
Michael Smith, PT, DPT, OCS