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Safeguard Your Practice During the Coronavirus Crisis

March 16, 2020

Questions to Ask a Potential COVID-19 Patient 

To help curb the spread of COVID-19 (aka the current strain of Coronavirus), patients are encouraged to call their provider before coming into the office. So where should they receive treatment or testing? Follow the steps below to determine how a patient should receive care, while reducing the risk of infecting others. 

As COVID-19 becomes more widespread, the CDC has practical suggestions to help your practice be prepared.

Step 1: Assess Risk with These Questions

Have you traveled anywhere, domestic or international, in the last 30 days? If so, where? (While Coronavirus cases are becoming more widespread globally, don’t rule out domestic travel to places with confirmed cases.)

Are you suffering from or showing signs of other illnesses that might make you more susceptible, such as pneumonia, a compromised immune system, heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes? Do you smoke?

Have you recently been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19? When and where did the interaction take place?

Have you recently attended an event with a large number of people, such as a concert, conference, etc.? Or been in a venue with large crowds, such as a sporting event, amusement park, etc. Where was the event/activity? When was it?

What is your age and gender? (There is mounting evidence that older individuals are more susceptible and some studies find that men are slightly more susceptible than women.)

Step 2: Check for Symptoms By Asking…*

Do you have a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit? If so, how long have you had a fever?

Are you experiencing a cough—especially a dry cough—or upper respiratory problems? For how long? 

Are you experiencing shortness of breath? For how long?

Are you experiencing fatigue, sore throat, headache, runny nose, vomiting, or diarrhea? (These symptoms on their own don’t necessarily indicate COVID-19, but multiple symptoms could be a warning sign.)

*Coronavirus symptoms typically appear within 5-12 days of exposure to the virus.

Step 3: Advising Patients 

SituationSuggestions for Care
The patient has traveled to an area with confirmed cases or been exposed to an infected person.Self-quarantine at home and avoid public places for 14 days. Contact the doctor if symptoms appear.
The patient has symptoms, but they are mild.Bed rest, fluids, and medications to reduce fever and cough. Avoid public places until told otherwise by the doctor. Contact the doctor if symptoms persist or become more intense.
CDC recommendations for COVID-19 patients.
The patient is having problems breathing or symptoms are becoming worse.Seek immediate medical attention.
The patient isn’t sure if it’s COVID-19, seasonal flu, or something else.Conduct a telephone or video chat (if available) consultation with a doctor or nurse. 
If a patient needs to be seen in the office, ask them to wear a face mask. Notify the receptionist so the patient can be isolated in an area away from other patients. 
The patient needs to be tested for COVID-19.If your office doesn’t have test kits (and many don’t), recommend that the patient be tested at a public health lab, commercial lab, or hospital. Patients should call first to confirm availability. 

Step 4. Tap Into RXNT Solutions 

If you need to treat patients virtually, RXNT’s Electronic Health Records (EHR) with patient portal and Electronic Prescribing (eRx), and Practice Management (PM) with scheduling solutions make it easier. 

RXNT’s EHR lets you:RXNT’s PM Scheduler lets you:
Request and review diagnostic lab orders from within the EHR. Document virtual visits (for example, via telephone or video chat) in the patient’s chart. Prescribe medicines that are automatically sent to the retail pharmacy you or the patient prefer. Customize patient intake forms to include a COVID-19 risk assessment and symptom questionnaire (similar to the questions above).Set aside designated appointment times and resources to minimize exposure to other patients and office workers. For example, potential Coronavirus patients could be seen late in the day in designated treatment rooms only.

This information is for general information purposes only. RXNT makes no warranties or representations of any kind, express or implied, about the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the products, services, or related information or graphics contained on this website. RXNT assumes no liability for any damages caused by inaccuracies in this content or arising from the use, misuse, or reliance on any or all of the content on this website. All users should consult with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most up-to-date information.. Learn more at cdc.gov.

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