To our Dear Patients,
You are the reason we do what we do, so we want to personally reach out to you during this time of coronavirus uncertainty. The outbreak of the Coronavirus (also called COVID-19) has been rapidly evolving over the past few weeks, with events and recommendations changing daily.
Femina Care is closely monitoring this situation, as the health and safety of our patients and staff has been, and will always continue to be our highest priority. We are carefully following and immediately implementing the recommendations of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
WHAT WE ARE DOING: We are being very proactive in planning ahead in taking every measure to reduce the spread of illness. In addition to the CDC recommendations, we want to share with you the actions we are taking at our clinic to help protect our employees, and you, our valued patients!
We want you to know:
1) Fortunately, those with symptoms of COVID-19 do not come to a dermatology clinic to be treated for Coronavirus, so exposure is reduced at our clinic.
2) However, we recognize that patients who have been in high risk areas (airplanes, cruises, cities with high infection rates) or around any large crowds (airport pickups, sporting events, concerts, etc.) have an undetected exposure risk. We are screening for these situations and require that they schedule or reschedule their appointment for at least 3 weeks from that possible exposure date. If there is any question about any possible exposure, even if not showing symptoms, we will require and provide a mask for them to wear during the entire visit.
3) We’ve always wiped down and sanitized surfaces and equipment, from the Reception area throughout the entire clinic on a regular basis. Now, we are exceeding CDC guidelines for cleanliness by our increased wiping down of all surfaces to at least an hourly basis to reduce any additional or potential exposures.
4) We are not shaking hands. A nod, wave, or a fist or elbow bump will do!
5) We continue to wash hands/use hand sanitizer as usual between each patient care encounter as always, but additionally, now even more frequently throughout the day.
6) To limit and reduce your potential exposure and risk, we aim to reduce your time spent in our reception area by requiring all patients fill out their registration forms in their Patient Portal. If you do not yet have a ADC Patient Portal set up, please visit our website at https://www.adcderm.com. If you have questions as to how to set up your portal, please call us.
7) We require any employee with any symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, coughing), or an employee with a family member that has symptoms of COVID-19, to stay away from the clinic and seek medical care. They are not allowed to come to work.
8) As an additional precaution, we require any employees who have been in any high risk situations (those who had returned from recent travel, picking up someone from the airport, at a concert or conference, etc.) to wear a mask for 2 weeks. They are not sick, but this precaution is in place to protect you from possible exposure.
9) We are asking patients who are experiencing any flu-like or respiratory symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, coughing), or those who have spent time with anyone who has these symptoms, to call (651-445-4190) or send a message through our Patient Portal to reschedule their appointment for at least 2 weeks after those symptoms have resolved. You will not be charged a no-show fee if you contact us to reschedule your appointment. Please let us know if you feel your dermatology needs are urgent and cannot wait 14 days, as we can then best assist you in meeting your needs.
10) We are in the process of implementing Virtual Visits (also known as telemedicine, e-visits.) If you or your family member are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, we would like you to take advantage of our new telemedicine option as soon as it is available. Although there are limits to Virtual Visits, during this time of COVID-19 pandemic, Virtual Visits may be very helpful in providing some dermatologic care to you online, directly to you at your home. Please visit https://adcderm.com for more information on this development.
11) We recognize that special situations may occur if there are urgent or acute dermatologic concerns that need to be treated immediately, such as concerns about skin cancers, infections, very itchy painful skin conditions, and time-sensitive medical care (including Isotretinoin treatments); even if the person has been in high risk areas. In these situations, we require that you contact us via either phone call or through the Patient Portal for us to assess and figure out care for you, which will include that you wear a mask (which we will provide) during your entire visit at the clinic.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: We must all do our part to stop the spread of the virus. To reduce your risk of any infection, we recommend the CDC’s best practices:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects and surface (phone, laptop, remotes, door knobs, light switches, etc.). Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid groups of larger than 10 (non-sick) people.
- Remember and remind others of Respiratory Etiquette (cover your cough/sneeze by coughing with your mouth tightly held inside your elbow or upper arm).
- We are also encouraging patients to follow the recommended guidelines of maintaining a distance of approximately 6ft per person, which all ADC locations’ waiting rooms can accommodate.
- Avoid any non-essential travel, including plane or cruise trips.
WE CARE DEEPLY ABOUT OUR PATIENTS AND STAFF
Femina Care is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy place for our patients and employees. We will continue to monitor the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, and take any needed measures according to the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health.
Here is a helpful link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
We appreciate the confidence and faith that you place in Femina Care, and we take that very seriously. We are doing everything we can to not only continue to care for your dermatology needs, but also your overall health. We are taking the growing concerns around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) very seriously. We promise to continue to follow this situation closely, and will take actions necessary to help keep you, our valued patients and employees, safe while providing you with our highest quality, industry-leading dermatology care.
Thank you for your patience and trust in us.
OJ Rustad, MD, and Ruth Rustad, MD