After months of restricted health services, GPs, dentists, hospitals, physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteos finally have the option of welcoming new patients through their doors. But in the wake of the pandemic, it’s essential to make the necessary precautions to ensure health centres all over the country remain safe, healthy and COVID-free.
Having a multitude of patients passing through can make things tricky when it comes to safe hygiene and social distancing, but there are plenty of ways to prep your business for a safe return. From sanitising stations and social distancing to protective equipment and shift work, we’ve pulled together some helpful tips and essential buys to ensure your back to work strategy is a complete success.
Follow the social distance rule
Ensure communal areas are appropriately distanced, keeping to the 1.5m social distancing rule. Display floor marks, signs and posters to remind patients and staff to keep their distance from each other. You can print out posters for free on the Safe Work Australia website.
Set up sanitising stations
Scatter sanitisers in entrances and within treatment rooms to encourage people to keep their hands clean and germ-free before they enter the building. The more you have accessible, the more likely it is that people will use them. Display clear guidelines and instructions to make sure they know how to use effectively.
Invest in antibacterial hand wash
Keep bathrooms and kitchens fully stocked with antibacterial hand wash.
Remind your staff and patients how to wash hands correctly with this handy poster. That way you can eliminate the spread of any nasty germs.
As an added touch, place hand creams around staff communal areas to stop skin from drying out.
Encourage staff to clean as they go
Germs and illness are often spread via surfaces, so keep out cleaning wipes and disinfectant along with reminders that staff should clean any surface they’ve come into contact with. Particularly high traffic areas — if staff are sharing desk and chair spaces, kitchen counters, bathrooms and cupboards, encourage everyone to wipe down every surface after use.
Adjust floor layouts
Consider adjustments to the layout of your space and your workflows to enable employees and clients to keep at least 1.5 metres apart. You can achieve this by spreading out furniture, removing displays, restricting pathways to increase distancing, or using floor and/or wall markings and signage to encourage 1.5-metre spacing.
Restrict the total number of people allowed within the premises to ensure it does not exceed maximum occupancy limits.
Stagger start times and organise shifts
Stagger start, finish and break times where appropriate. Consider separating workers into dedicated teams with each team working the same shift or in a particular area and having access to their own meal areas or break facilities.
Provide protective equipment
Avoid close contact where possible
Avoid close contact with staff or patients who are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should stay home, without exception. Instruct staff to inform management if they have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 or has been tested for COVID-19.
Consider virtual/phone consultations
Where possible, arrange phone contact with patients, that way all health professionals can provide patients with advice and diagnosis without coming into contact with one another.
Increase cleaning schedule
Improve professional cleaning and disinfecting procedures within the salon to reduce the occurrence of germs and bacteria. Make sure appropriate signage is displayed throughout the retail space, invest in powerful cleaning disinfectants and increase the frequency of your professional cleaning schedule.