Dr. Lawrence Schmetterer: New Information for Patients
Our patients are very important to us!
Many have serious health concerns that require expeditious evaluation and management, in many cases requiring outpatient or inpatient surgical procedures.
In the best interests of our patients, and in consideration of the current public health concerns and advisories regarding the COVID19 viral pandemic, the following are instituted effective Monday, March 16, 2020.
Outpatient Clinic Protocol
Patients who have appointments for routine follow up of testing, or long-term surgical follow ups, and are otherwise doing well, will be rescheduled for 4 weeks in the future. Any testing results such as ultrasound or CT scans will be reviewed once completed to confirm that no significant interval findings are present.
You will be asked to email or text a photo of the front and back of your updated insurance card and identification card if needed, in order to minimize handling.
If a patient has a need for an outpatient follow up visit, prescreening by phone will be completed by our staff. You will be asked if you have experienced fever, cough, cold, flu-like aches, or respiratory symptoms that are not a stable chronic condition. You will be asked if you have traveled abroad, or been on a cruise ship within the past four weeks, or if you have been exposed to anyone with the above potential exposures or conditions.
If any of the above are present, you may be asked to follow up immediately with your primary care physician for further evaluation and possible testing. If an outpatient visit is deemed urgent, provisions will be made for an expedited full evaluation of any vascular or thoracic problem with Dr. Schmetterer regardless of above exposures. This will be conducted in such a fashion as to ensure safety of staff and other patients.
At the time of a patient’s office visit, you can expect the following:
The waiting room will not contain magazines or books for general use. You are welcome to bring your own reading materials and of course, a smart phone.
Patients should self-seat a minimum distance of six feet from other patients, not including family members. In the event of crowding, you may wait in your car and receive a text when an exam room opens for you.
There will not be a “clipboard & pen” sign in process. You will register for the visit verbally with staff, who will also take your temperature with a sterilized forehead swipe device. Staff will wear gloves and masks. If you have a fever or outward symptoms of an active respiratory infection, you will be asked to follow up with your primary care physician.
New patients are encouraged to fill out their medical questionnaire at home prior to the clinic visit. If that is not completed, there will be an opportunity to complete the questionnaire with a sanitized clipboard. Please provide your own pen.
In the exam room, your seating will be on an exam table, covered with disposable paper. The table will be sanitized between each patient visit. While we will not exclude family members from accompanying the patient into the exam room, there will be no additional seating.
Outpatient and Inpatient Surgeries
The Surgeon General of the United States, the Ohio Department of Health, and Mike Dewine, Governor of Ohio have advised the cancellation of elective surgeries in the interest of patient safety and preservation of medical resources. An example of an elective surgery would be the removal of a benign fatty growth. Procedures deemed necessary would include any procedures involving the vascular system or lung disease such as cancer. Postponing such procedures could result in stroke, loss of life or limb. These are not considered elective procedures.
Many of our patients require inpatient or outpatient surgical procedures that, while not emergent, are necessary and required in an expeditious manner for serious medical problems. Rest assured, that your planned procedure, if deemed necessary, will be given the full support of surgical and hospital staff, including safe intensive care as needed.
The above policies and procedures are not intended to cause fear or undue concern. Our patients’ best interests are most important, and that includes keeping them safe from potential illness and assuring that significant medical issues are identified and treated quickly before any complications develop.
The current social and medical landscape is changing on a daily basis. Please follow us on Facebook or our website as updates may occur.
We will all get through this together.
Lawrence Schmetterer MD FACS