Last Updated: 03/12/2020
Guidelines for addressing the needs of our staff and patients during this unusual time.
The current world concern about the spread of the Coronavirus requires us all to seriously consider all possible actions that could minimize both the risk of infection and the risk of the rapid spread of the virus. We are facing a challenge to our ability to meet the emotional needs of our patients while taking reasonable precautions to protect the health of all in this time of uncertainty.
The situation is evolving but we wish to state some basic principles and guidelines for the Schiele Clinic Operation based upon our current understanding of the situation.
- Those with symptoms or a history of close exposure to those with symptoms of coronavirus should be isolating themselves, and thus, not attend sessions in person.
- Both patients, therapists, and supervisors are now faced with changing family responsibilities, such as children at home following school closures.
- For many, common fears and anxieties are exacerbated and limit freedom of activity. Such worries, at this time, must be respected.
- The emotional/psychological consequences of social isolation are real and not to be underestimated.
Beyond the general and well-publicized recommendations for handwashing, social distancing, avoidance of large crowds, etc. we are instituting the following guidelines for our clinic:
- Patients or therapists with respiratory symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, fever, or chills, should not attend sessions in person. It is advisable to ask about these symptoms and discuss options.
- Phone or video sessions are acceptable alternatives considering the importance, for many, of ongoing therapeutic contact. For full HIPPA compliance, it is best to used a service such as doxy.me. One can enroll for free and the connection is secure. Some use Facetime or Skype but these services are not HIPPA compliant.
- There should be no charges for sessions missed due to health concerns.
- Therapists should discuss all related issues with supervisors, whether in person or via technology.
Please feel free to offer your input or suggestions or ask questions either via the clinic listserv or privately to Chester Smith or Stuart Ozar.
We will certainly update these recommendations if circumstances change.