Covid-19 keeps coming in waves, causing confusion and concern for patients and ASCs alike. Patients try to keep up with shifting, sometimes conflicting, information from the CDC, state and local officials, and their physicians. As a result, many ASC patients are incredibly stressed now that the Delta variant is spiking. Keeping patients satisfied while maintaining a healthy ASC environment is complicated. Still, there are ways to make sure you uphold the highest safety standards and reduce your patients' confusion and worry.
Keep Patients Informed
With guidelines surrounding Covid-19 changing every week, many patients are concerned about what may change surrounding their ASC procedure. It's a valid concern because facilities have had to cancel elective procedures in the past due to the Coronavirus. Patients may also wonder whether safety protocols might change between appointments.
To alleviate their concerns, make sure patients are updated immediately on any changes, such as a new mask mandate or the need to arrive for appointments early to have their temperature checked. Knowing whether a family member can accompany them is also vital. Update patients using automated alerts that go out any time there is a change in protocol. Include a number they can call or a website address they can visit if they have any questions. It’s also a good idea to immediately post any changes on your ASC’s website and any social media.
Patient education is crucial for ASCs dealing with a new viral variant. Misinformation is rampant, so be sure to counteract it with accurate information backed by reputable sources. It may be helpful to put together a brochure or handout that outlines what your facility is doing to control the potential for infection and how you're responding to the new Delta variant. This doesn't have to be expensive; a short paragraph and bulleted list may be all you need.
You can educate your patients via customized messages sent to their phones and emails as well. Send them a brief message any time your Ambulatory Surgery Center updates health protocols or adds a new element to the layers of protection provided. A text message or email can be straightforward and reassuring, such as, "All patients are required to wear masks when entering the building beginning Monday. In response to the recent outbreak of Covid-19 Delta Variant in our area, we have implemented a temperature check. We will continue to provide a safe, sanitary environment based on current CDC guidelines. We will continue to provide you with the utmost care for our patients during this time. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us, and we will be happy to answer them.”
Patient satisfaction is directly linked to their confidence in the level of care they receive at their ASC. It can be frustrating for staff to have to change protocols and address the concerns of apprehensive patients in addition to attending to routine duties. It’s crucial to patient satisfaction for ASC staff to remain confident and self-assured in the face of the evolving Covid situation. Reassure patients and remind them that you are all healthcare professionals with the latest healthcare information and training. By projecting a confident, positive manner, you’ll reassure your ASC patients they are in good hands, alleviating some of their stress during these confusing times.
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