Get ready to re-open

Identify how to maintain or increase practice turnover after the pandemic and in keeping with the new norm, says Stephanie Carmichael.

Reception/waiting rooms

Strategy – Reduce the number of patients allowed in the waiting room at one time as well as reducing contact between these people:

Limit the number of seats in the waiting area and organise the seats to ensure they are two metres apart. Although this may appear challenging, there are a variety of ways around this.  

Most private practice waiting rooms have always had a lot of room. As much as it was kudos, it also provided the patient with reassurance that paying privately also provided a better service.  

So patients grew to expect complimentary coffee machines, tea or snacks, often with a large table comprising magazines and books and large comfy chairs. 

However, by simply removing the coffee machines and large table and organising the chairs in rows obeying social distancing, it will be easy to comply with the new Government legislation.  

This does not mean that the patient misses their cup of coffee, as it can be organised that the coffee machine is placed at the reception area and the receptionist offers it to the patient as they sign-in – to avoid fingering the machine. But magazines, books and toys should be removed totally, as wiping down between patients would be impractical.