*Fever > 100.4 *Chills
*Body Aches; Joint Aches *Runny Nose
*Persistent/Unusual Headaches *Pink Eye
*Blue or Purple Lesions *Chest Tightness
*Shortness of Breath *Nausea; Vomiting
*New/Unusual Rashes or Bumps *Diarrhea
*Loss of Smell or Taste *Sore Throat
More than ever, in the face of COVID, having an In-Office, Private surgical facility offers added desirable patient benefits, with a small staff and limited occupancy/traffic, social distancing and extra sanitizing precautions are easier to optimize, maintain & control! Additional Infection-Control Safeguards that have been in place since the original construction of the surgical facility are also more important than ever with COVID and the emerging understanding of its spread: Both the office and the entire Operating Room facility has Hepa filters to enhance pathogen filtration. The A/C system throughout the entire Operating Room facility has been specially engineered to include UV light (to further kill/ devitalize pathogens; Laminar flow to reduce stirring the air; and NO recirculated air, always using fresh outside air for each cycle.
NOTICE TO PATIENTS REGARDING THIS PRACTICE’S COVID-19 SAFE PRACTICE POLICIES, EFFECTIVE 4/22/2020
In accordance with Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-19, part of the phased Texas Re- Opening, and in desire for this office to meet patient’s needs and to help ensure safety in the midst of the novel COVID-19 pandemic, the following policies have been implemented.
Screening: Patients will be questioned regarding the presence of the above-listed symptoms or any contact with individuals with those symptoms in the three weeks prior to their scheduled appointment. All staff will daily self-monitor for the presences of these symptoms or any contact with individuals with these symptoms. All positive screens are to be reported promptly to Dr. Ghafoori. (Also, please advise if you have traveled outside of the RGV.) For non-urgent appointments, patients will be rescheduled for at least 14 days, and Dr. Ghafoori will recommend following up with your physician for advise on testing and self-quarantining. Please cancel your appointment if you feel ill!
No Visitors: To minimize the occupancy and crowding within the facility, and to optimize social distancing, as may be possible in a medical setting, NO visitors will be allowed during consultations, follow-ups or procedures. Exceptions will include essential caregivers (such as may be required after a surgical procedure) or a designated translator. Appointments will be spread out in an effort to minimize occupancy within the facility and to help maintain social distancing. Patients may be asked to remain in their vehicle until a sanitized, designated room is available — Please!!! do NOT come late to your appointment to not disrupt the flow!
Masks: All staff, patients, and approved visitors must wear a mask while in the facility when a social distancing of 6’ cannot be maintained. Exceptions will include temporary removal on the part of the patient, as needed to conduct an exam or a procedure, or if it is determined by Dr. Ghafoori that the mask is causing a concerning secondary effect. N.B. Dr. Ghafoori does not perform surgeries/procedures on the mucous membranes, including the respiratory tract, with a high risk of aerosol transmission — should she perform these procedures, she (or her delegate) will wear an N95 mask, or equivalent, and a face shield.
Sanitization: In addition to frequent hand washing and/or hand sanitization, Dr. Ghafoori and staff will frequently sanitize the facility, patient care areas, exam tables, counter tops, and frequently-touched surfaces throughout the day, as well as after each patient interaction. Sanitization will include quaternary disinfectants, bleach solutions, and/or 70% alcohol solutions, as appropriate, with sufficient product contact time for optimal pathogen/viral kill. Dr. Ghafoori and staff also utilize a rotating segregation system in which there are dedicated “potentially contaminated,” “intermediate,” and “clean” areas to address such things as mail, packages, papers, clipboards, etc. (Clean pens will be provided for patients to keep.) We ask that patients try to minimize their movement within the facility and to minimize touching surfaces — Dr. Ghafoori and staff will be happy to open doors and assist you!
TMB Notice and Compliance Requirements Concerning COVID-19 Minimum Standards of Safe Practice
(i) All physicians providing patient care or engaging in an in- person patient encounter, must implement the following minimum COVID-19 standards of safe practice.
(I) a mask must be worn by both the patient and physician or the physician's delegate when in proximity of the patient (meaning less than a 6-foot distance between the patient and the physician or the physician's delegate);
(II) follow policies the physician, medical and healthcare practice, or facility has in place regarding COVID-19 screening and testing and/or screening patients;
(III) that, before any encounter, patients must be screened for potential symptoms of COVID-19 or verified previously screened within last 20 days; and
(IV) that prior to care involving a medical procedure or surgery on the mucous membranes, including the respiratory tract, with a high risk of aerosol transmission, the minimum safety equipment used by a physician or physician's delegate should include N95 masks, or an equivalent protection from aerosolized particles, and face shields.