Tips to Prevent the Cold and Flu in Your Dental Office
The flu and cold are highly contagious respiratory illnesses that spread easily during the winter months. You are at higher risk of contracting the flu or cold virus at work from your staff or patients if they are already sick. Take some precautions to prevent cold and flu in your dental office.
Here are some tips that will help you prevent cold and flu in the dental office:
1. Start with Your Staff
Ask your staff to use the personal protective equipment designed for dental care providers that prevent viruses from spreading in your dental office. Also, ask them to stay at home while they are sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends employees to stay at home for at least a day even after their fever is gone.
2. Encourage Your Staff to Get the Flu Vaccine
You can prevent spreading the flu at work by encouraging your staff to get the flu shot. Most insurance plans cover the vaccination cost. Vaccinations are some of the first lines of defense against the flu.
3. Keep Your Surroundings Clean
Disinfect and clean your treatment areas, floors, dental equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces in your dental office. This can include the front desk, waiting room chairs and tables, and door and doorknobs.
4. Provide Supplies
Install hand sanitizer dispensers and keep tissues in the waiting room of your dental office. Provide trash cans to help your staff and patients safely dispose the used tissues and other things.
5. Clean the Air
Recent research reveals that an infected person can spread the flu virus by their exhaled breath, even if they do not sneeze or cough. Therefore, it is important to get your HVAC system serviced and make sure you use HEPA air filters to circulate the clean air throughout your dental office.
6. Provide Resources that Emphasize Preventive Actions
Provide updated information on flu risk factors and preventive actions to your staff and patients who may be at high risk for serious flu complications. This can include pregnant women or adults with a chronic medical condition including diabetes, asthma, or heart problems.
7. Advise Sick Patients to Reschedule
If you charge a late cancellation fee, consider waiving it for patients who are not well. Otherwise, patients who are sick may visit and infect your dental office to avoid being penalized for last-minute cancellations. When you send automatic appointment reminders or contact patients, tell them to reschedule their appointments if they are feeling unwell.
With these tips, you can increase the productivity of your staff by preventing cold and flu in your dental office.
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