The liability comes when not providing what employees need to meet CDC and OSHA guidelines for managing potentially infectious patients. This includes appropriate use of PPE and using infection control measures and implementation of a plan to mitigate risk. Read more on the OSHA 2019 Novel Coronavirus website.
To be proactive, stay in communication with your practices/staff and address questions, concerns, or needs they have. Make sure contingency plans have been implemented and employees are trained on what to do—including how to properly use PPE. Contingency plans should include risk mitigation strategies, such as screening patients prior to arriving for an appointment and educating employees on what to do if they have a positive screen.
Refer to our COVID-19 Patient Workflow Chart for guidance on managing potentially infected patients in your practice.
While evaluating patients for risk factors related to coronavirus, practices need to also remember to address the other medical needs of the patient, asking:
- Is this patient scheduled for a non-essential visit that can be rescheduled for later?
- Are there unresolved issues that need addressing?
- Can these unresolved issues be handled via telehealth or does it require an in-person visit?