March 13, 2020
Our team at Hearing Health Care Services will be cautious and vigilant in regard to the spread of the novel virus, COVID-19, as with seasonal flu and other infectious concerns. Our patient population is heavily comprised of individuals over 70, and therefore we are very aware of the increased risk of the novel infection to those we serve. We have been monitoring information from local health departments, the CDC, and WHO to ensure that we support our patients as well as possible during this time.
Moving into the next six months, we will reaffirm our policies on infection control to minimize any opportunity for pathogens to pass between patients by thorough and frequent hand washing and consistent cleaning of all surfaces between patient contact.
We ask our patients to please stay home and reschedule visits if you have any indication of illness or likelihood of exposure. We understand that hearing is important to your wellness, but many immunocompromised patients come into our office on a daily basis. We appreciate your help keeping our staff and our entire HHCS family safe and well.
During this time frame, our employees are encouraged to stay home if experiencing any indications of illness. To encourage sick staff to stay at home with minimal financial implications, effective immediately, we will be allowing staff to be paid in advance for up to two weeks (10 days) of PTO if needed. This is an optional benefit and staff will not be required to accept it. Staff will still have the option to take leave without pay if they prefer to not carry a negative PTO balance. Projects to work on from home will be planned as a team. Leadership reserves the right to send any employee home who does not seem well.
Given the likelihood of some quarantine and self-isolation of our patients, we are happy to work with our patients and their families to find creative solutions and fix issues while keeping everyone safe. Please do not hesitate to call us, even if you are under quarantine. We will do our best to help keep you connected. While we do offer home visits as needed, we reserve the right to decline visiting anyone who is unwell or any environment where we feel the providers safety may potentially be at risk.
Due to an increase in home visits, which can be more time consuming, in addition to the policies regarding employees staying home if unwell, our schedules may become delayed. It is our preference and objective to be able to address urgent matters within 48 hours when possible, but the health and safety of our employees and patients needs to be priority. We sincerely apologize if schedule delays are inconvenient during this time period.
While Coronavirus is not a high mortality illness, it has the potential to cause widespread disruption and particular harm to our beloved patients. Prudent policies and procedures both at the government level and in our practice can help to limit the spread and impact of novel virus exposure. We will respond to any instructions from the health department or CDC and policies may change as needed.