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In: Blog, Corona Virus, Disease information, Frequently Asked Questions

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Many of you attending the practice are on treatments that increase could your risk of infection and are appropriately trying to stay close to home. With social distancing and stay home advice, attending appointments in person can be difficult.

However those with arthritis and other related conditions, are all too aware that flare ups can occur at any time (especially at times of stress). People will remain unwell from their underlying conditions regardless of whether they develop a Corona virus infection. There are certain problems can wait, but others that require more urgent medical attention.

We are trying to offer a service that is both appropriate to acute medical needs of our patients but also one that is as safe as possible. We have therefore put a number of measures in place to allow us to continue to help our patients as safely as possible.

Office Measures

Firstly, this to reassure you that our office is still open. All of your team are available to answer your queries and concerns by phone or by email.

However, In addition to strict office staff adherence to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) guidance on social distancing and hygiene in the workplace, we have put in place a number of other measures to reduce the likelihood of Corona virus infection in our office.

These are to allow us to maintain essential medical services for our patients while ensuring the safety of our patients and staff.

Postponing Non Urgent Visits

Only patients with semi-urgent, urgent problems, or emergencies are being seen in person. All non-urgent appointments have been postponed or are being performed remotely using video consultations or phone visits. Each patients problems will be assessed in their own right but we will be erring on the side of caution where infection risk is concerned.

Video Consultations and Phone visits

All efforts are being made to carry out visits over internet based video consultations and phone to minimise unnecessary visits to the office. This in turn will reduce the number of patients attending the office in person and traffic through the waiting room area.

Minimising likelihood of exposure to Corona Virus infection for those who need to attend in person.

Suite 19 is in a part of the building separated from main hospital by a lobby and restaurant (which is currently restricted to staff). The Galway Clinic is not a designated receiving hospital for patients with Corona Virus infections and is not receiving visitors.

Pre-screening

All patients who need to attend in person are pre-screened within 24 hours of attendance for common symptoms or risk factors of Corona Virus infection including; recent travel abroad, contacts with those infected (or suspected of being infected) with Corona Virus.

All patients screened again at main entrance of the hospital by Galway Clinic staff. Those with symptoms or risk factors will be asked to phone office and assessed by doctor before entering office.

Staff Measures

The practice is following HSE / HSPC guidelines in relation to management of health care workers, and measures are in place to reduce the potential risk of spread of infection between members of staff and between staff the our patients.

Waiting room measures

  • All those attending will be asked to wait in their car and will be contacted when it is time to come to office to reduce minimise spent in the waiting room.
  • Appointments are also spaced appropriately to reduce congestion in the waiting room.
  • All waiting room chairs are spaced 2 meters apart.
  • All patients asked to clean hands on entry at reception with alcohol gel and on leaving.
  • Protective screens have been put in place to limit contact between patients and staff in the office and all of non-essential paper work between patients and staff has ceased.

Doctor measures

Doctors assessing patients will wear appropriate protective masks, gloves, aprons and goggles and maintain appropriate social distancing except where close physical examination or a procedure are required.

All relevant surfaces will be disinfected between patient visits

Appointment visit times will be kept to a minimum to reduce any potential exposure to infection.

These measures may change over the coming weeks so please check back here for further updates.

Questions?

If you have any concerns of questions about your visit or these measures please email us on suite.19@galwayclinic.com

Version Created by Dr. Ronan Kavanagh March 30th 2020. Updated 2/4/2020

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