Protocols for Office Visits During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Dear Patient,

First, we want to say, “Welcome back.” We hope you and your family are in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing that has remained the same is our commitment to your safety.  As we reopen our office, we would like you to know that we are taking special precautions to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, as you may have noticed during your visits. We want to tell you about the new procedures and protocols we will be following to keep patients and staff safe.

PLEASE READ THESE CAREFULLY, as failure to adhere to these protocols could impact our ability to see you.

  • Office hours will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For now, we will not be working evenings or weekends. We do not know at this point when or if that will change.
  • You will receive forms which must be completed/updated for every appointment. Please return immediately. On the Patient Screening Form there are two columns that need to be completed, one in advance of the appointment and one on the day of the appointment.
  • We will be staggering appointments one at a time. When you arrive at the office, please call (do not text) to announce your arrival, and wait in your car or outside until we let you know that the treatment room has been disinfected and is ready for you.
  • Only the patient will be admitted to the office, so please leave everyone else at home or in the car. The only exception will be one parent of a minor child, or someone who requires a home health aide to accompany them.
  • Everyone entering the office is required to be wearing a mask or cloth covering over their nose and mouth.  Chin guards will not cut it.
  • Upon entrance into the reception area, you will have your forehead temperature taken with a no-contact digital thermometer. Anyone with a temperature over 100 will not be seen.
  • You may notice that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, childrens books and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect. 
  • You will be asked to place your belongings into a large paper bag, which we will provide for your convenience. That will include any coat or outer garment, pocketbook, and cell phone. Cell phones should be SILENCED. The bag will be placed at the foot or side of the treatment chair and you will take it with you when you leave.
  • Next, you will be directed to wash your hands for 20 seconds with soapy water, while you sing “Happy to be Back at My Dentist’s Office” to the tune of the Happy Birthday song.
  • Every effort will be made to minimize contact between patients and staff. This includes scheduling appointments, and handling payments. As much as possible this will be handled electronically.
    • We request everyone leave a method of payment on file. Any credit/debit card or checking account information will be encrypted and stored securely in our software.
    • Following the appointment, your payment will be processed electronically for the treatment rendered that day, and you will be e-mailed a receipt. You will not have to stop at the front desk to handle payment.
    • If we are accepting assignment from your insurance carrier, we will process payment for any balance due after receipt of the insurance allowance.
    • We will also accept payment by Zelle, which is very easy to set up and we encourage you to do so.
    • Future appointments with Kathy should be scheduled with Kathy before you leave her room, or with our online scheduler. You can find a link to the online scheduler at the bottom of our e-mails.
    • For appointments with Dr. Hersh, e-mail or text the office. However, please understand that first we will be contacting patients who were left in the middle of treatment on March 19 and need to be completed. When everyone is caught up we will begin to schedule additional appointments.
    • Note, there will be a charge for all appointments broken or canceled with less than 24 hours’ notice.
  • Due to all the PPE we will be donning, we will have to keep the temperature of the office lower than usual. If you think you might need a blanket, please bring one with you, since we will not be providing them as we have in the past.

If you have any questions regarding these protocols or anything else please reply to this e-mail, or call or text the office as soon as possible. Don’t wait for your appointment to ask your questions or discuss your concerns.

Warm regards,

Robert M Hersh DMD & Staff