Avera Medical Minute: Procedural changes during the pandemic
Erik Thorstenson: How has is this pandemic affected your life as a physician?
Dr. Mark List:"Well you know we changed a lot of stuff about the clinic. We're trying our best to not only keep ourselves safe, but also keep patients safe. As a clinician I'm doing a lot more virtual visits than I've ever done before. And of course we're wearing a lot more of these than we've ever done before."
Erik: Restrictions are starting to relax. What can patients expect during their next visit?
Dr. List: "You know we're operating regardless of what the city or state has plans in terms of opening up. We're just gonna be as safe as possible. We're trying to limit exposure for patients to avoid them getting sick from our clinic. And so while you may see things in the news about re-openings or policy changes. In our facility, we're just doing the best we can to make everyone safe regardless of the what the city or state kind of have planned in terms of re-opening. Expect that when you come in, your'll be screened. Expect that when you come in, we'll be washing our hands a lot. Which we've always done but we'll be even more diligent about it. Expect that when you come in, we're going to try our best to avoid getting people in common spaces and limit mass exposure as much as possible. Getting people out of waiting rooms faster. Maybe you'll notice more social distance markers to stand in different lines. But we're trying to avoid lines as much as possible. Some clinics are doing things differently. Some have different entrances. Some have different areas of the clinic where we might have sick patients over in some exam rooms and healthier ones in the other places. And some like our clinic, we have more healthy appointments in the morning, and more sicker or potential sick visits in the afternoon to try and separate the two."
Erik: What advice would you give to a parent who may be nervous about venturing out for care?
Dr. List: "I think it's understandable to be nervous. I think it's understandable to delay well child checks. But I think it's really important to weigh the risks and the benefits. We know that we are seeing a decrease in the normal rates of childhood immunizations being given, because parents are delaying those well child checks due the outbreak. And that's really important that we stay on schedule so children don't get behind. That way they're prepared and vaccinated to go to school and they don't have to get special waivers or get delayed on their school entry because they're behind on their shots. So I think it's important to continue to come in for those well child checks."