Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a compulsive planner. I thrive on order, and having a plan and usually a plan B is conducive to that environment. But as we went into production on this issue of The O&P EDGE, several factors conspired to upend my careful plans, and I was forced to pivot and not only activate a plan B, but also to create plans C and D. With the rapid spread of COVID-19, I find that activating contingency plans and navigating the feeling of disorder that creates is the norm for most of us as new developments arise daily.
For O&P clinics, as for other public spaces and healthcare facilities in particular, there is now a heightened awareness of adherence to sanitation practices. Beyond the normal protocols about wearing appropriate personal protection equipment, some of those wrenches in daily plans may include phone screening of patients who have appointments to help protect patients and staff, anticipating staff absences, and possible closures. And, with every new piece of information about the spread of the disease, public policy implementation, and individual business impact, a new contingency plan for business continuity is being developed—all of which may feel a bit like chaos.
While disrupted plans, constant updates about COVID-19 statistics and related closures, and the unknown is producing anxiety, with a little ingenuity in thinking and a calm approach, we can manage the current situation and recovery efforts that are likely to come in its wake. I would encourage all facilities to review your emergency plans, best practices for infection control, and refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for up-to-date guidance to help us all manage our personal and business upheaval during the pandemic. We will also be posting regular updates at www.opedge.com.
And know that as the profession has in the past, it will rally to support those most affected.
Wishing you all health in this time of crisis from all of us at The O&P EDGE.