Flu season is almost here. Under “normal” circumstances flu season can be a hectic time for medical offices everywhere.
But what about in the middle of a global pandemic?
Patients looking to you and your staff for guidance on how to make it through what will be a difficult fall and winter will heighten stress and anxiety.
However, it doesn’t mean it has to be a chaotic period of time for you and your team.
Let’s look at how you can set yourself, your staff, and your practice up for success this flu season.
- Prepare Your Staff and Your PracticeThe first thing you need to do is make sure your practice is prepared by ensuring you have the adequate amount of supplies and equipment needed to get through a normal flu season. Determine if you need to increase any of your stock and make plans to start increasing your supplies now. Consider assigning someone you trust to pay special attention to your supplies so you can be prepared if you start running low.
- Communicate With Your TeamSpeak with your staff about what is coming and make sure everybody knows what is expected of them. Go over any special, new, or temporary rules and regulations that might apply to your practice, city, or state.
- Encourage Flu VaccinationsAs you speak to your patients, encourage them to get a flu vaccine. If your practice offers a vaccine shot, make sure your patients know when they can get one. If your practice does not offer vaccinations, recommend a place (or places) they can go.
- Utilize TelehealthWhen possible, use telehealth for any appointment. Try to limit the number of times your patients have to go into your office. If someone does not have to visit your office in person, do not force them to.
- Maintain “Pandemic Protocol”During busy and stressful times, it can be easy to forget things like mask wearing, washing hands, and social distancing. However, all these details help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the flu. Make sure your staff maintains “pandemic protocol” so that you operate your practice as safely as possible (and ensure your patients that it is as safe as possible to attend appointments).
- Create Guidelines for Your PatientsEnsure that your patients know what is expected of them when they visit your office during flu season. Mask wearing, washing hands, social distancing, and temperature checks are steps that every patient should expect when visiting your office. Make sure they know this and any other safety measures you wish to enforce. Also, reinforce the point that these precautions are in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.
- Prevent BurnoutBurnout is a real concern during times of high stress. Make sure you get the proper amount of sleep, eat well, and get some exercise, and encourage your staff to do the same. Try to make time for fun like reading a book, watching a movie, or spending time with loved ones. These actions will help you prevent burnout and potentially becoming a patient yourself.
This has been a LONG year for everyone, but especially for those working in the medical industry. The upcoming flu season seems like the last mile in a marathon or the final exam after an especially tough class. However, with proper preparation, communication, and self-care, you and your practice can make it through this difficult time.