To say that we’ve gone through some strange times would be a wild understatement. Like the rest of our community, Olympic Orthopaedic Associates has ridden out the pandemic with a lot of concern and questions about what comes next. The good news is that we’re re-opened and ready to serve our patients for all their needs.
“We are open for business,” says our CEO Ben Shah, “If someone has a need, we can see them.” When the governor of Washington State announced that we could enter Phase 1, we were immediately ready to reopen our doors because we had used downtime during the pandemic to create plans and processes to keep our valued patients and staff as safe as possible.
We know that our patients have questions so we wanted to provide as many answers as possible in this article. Of course, feel free to call us at any time with any questions or concerns and our team will be ready to help.
New Protocols for All Patients
These are different times than our pre-pandemic days, and our team is taking the safety of our patients and staff with the utmost seriousness. “Everything we’re doing is in the best interests in the patients and our staff,” says Shah. “We know it may be a little inconvenient, but we are determined to provide a safe and clean environment for our patients to get the care they need and for our staff to take care of them.”
What do you need to know? Firstly, we’re happy to have you here and we want to keep you safe. Therefore, we have some new processes that will apply to all patients, whether they’re here for Diagnostic Imaging, a clinic
appointment, physiotherapy, an elective surgery, or for any other reason.
Checking in will look a little different these days. Here’s what to expect:
Check-in via smartphone from your car
Every patient will receive a link via email or text prior to their appointment that will allow them to check-in online. Once you’re in our parking lot, you will be able to check-in Via your smartphone. You will then be asked to wait in your vehicle until your provider is ready to see you.
Wear a mask
Everyone coming into the building must wear a mask.
Get called in
Our staff will call you once your provider is ready to see you.
Stop for temperature and screening
Once we call you to come into the building, you will meet someone at our front desk table who will take your temperature and ask you a few screening questions. You’ll receive a sticker to indicate that you’ve been screened as well as hand sanitizer to thoroughly wash your hands.
Follow the flow
We are working to keep our waiting rooms completely empty at this time to prevent any possible cross exposure between patients, so you will be called directly into your appointment. We will work with you to minimize contact between patients.
Telemedicine remains an option for all of our patients and we invite any interested patients to take advantage of it. If you would like to avoid coming into the clinic and are able to make use of telemedicine, we encourage you to do so. If you’re wondering whether your appointment is suited to tell her medicine or not, please call our front desk and we can provide guidance.
While telemedicine appointments remain an option, some visits are best made in person depending on the issue. “What we’ve learned through this process is that there are certain types of visits that are very reasonable for telemedicine,” says Shah. As an example, telemedicine works extremely well for patients to review their MRI findings or other imaging results with their doctor. It also works well for post-op patients who are not experiencing significant issues but would like to check in with their provider and ensure their incision is healing properly, etc.
Throughout the pandemic, we were able to keep our Rapid Orthopedic Care Center open for urgent and emergent cases requiring immediate care. We have strict processes in place to screen all patients upon arrival and get them seen by a provider as quickly as possible with minimal exposure to other patients. All patients will be required to wear a mask within the clinic. If you’ve arrived with an emergency issue and don’t have a mask, our staff will provide you with one.
If you had an appointment postponed during the pandemic, you will have likely already received a call to get you rescheduled. If you haven’t received a call, reach out anytime to get booked in.
Our MRI scanner is now running 14 hours a day, from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. to ensure that we got through the backlog of necessary MRIs as quickly as possible. We will continue to run with extended hours until the backlog is completely cleared up. We understand that our patients need answers and we are eager to get them the right imaging as quickly as possible.
Our x-ray department is running as per normal.
If you had a surgery postponed because of the pandemic, please be aware that we are rescheduling surgeries as efficiently as possible. We have already ramped up to a nearly normal operating room schedule at our Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) and anticipate that within a few days we will be back to full tilt.
We are also extending surgery hours to allow more surgeons to operate each day, getting more patients through surgery as safely and efficiently as possible. We are also getting more creative with our scheduling, which includes possible Saturday surgery dates as we clear the backlog of surgeries.
Of course, we also understand that some patients may not feel comfortable having surgery right now and may choose to postpone until this summer or later in the year. Please know that we will work with you to get you your surgery when you feel comfortable and safe to do so.
As far as precautions at our ASC, we are taking many. Firstly, surgical patients will be asked to check-in from their cars, using the same process as all other outpatients. We are also asking patients to quarantine for a week before their surgery and we will be doing screening the day before surgery as well as the day of surgery. All surgical patients must present to the surgery center wearing a mask. Visitors and companions will be asked to wait in the car during the surgery, as we are keeping all waiting rooms empty at this time. It is our goal to get all surgical patients in and out of our ASC as efficiently as possible so they can get home and begin the recovery process.
If you have any questions about your elective surgery, please reach out to our team. We’re ready to hear your concerns and work with you on your terms to get you the surgical care you need.
Here’s what we want you to know: We are here for you now. And if you prefer to wait, we’ll be here for you when you’re ready. Stay safe, take care—from our family to yours.
Request A Virtual Appointment
At Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, we are committed to our patients and employees safety. Many of our physicians offer Telehealth, a virtual option to speak with one of our Orthopedic Specialists through your iOS and Android devices (smartphones or tablets).