COVID-19 and DMEPOS Providers

Infection control is a critical consideration in the era of COVID-19. Here are some changes you can make to your office to help reduce the risk of infection.

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One of the first things Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics/Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) providers had to take a closer look at during this pandemic and the public health emergency was their own infection control procedures. While DMEPOS providers have always had careful and well-thought-out infection control polices related to the patients they serve, re-examination and improvement of these policies in light of COIVD-19 for the protection of employees and their families was needed to find the best methods possible in limiting the risk of spreading disease to patients and employees.

As a precaution against the spread of infectious disease, Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) is requiring Surveyors to submit the Surveyor Pre-Survey Screening Form to a provider on the morning of each day of the survey. This change was made because of COVID-19, but this is still a good practice to follow to some degree even after the public health emergency (PHE) is lifted.

To help reduce the spread of disease, consider redesigning your office with these things in mind:

  • Social distancing
  • Movement of used equipment
  • Delivery equipment modification
  • Limited public access
  • Frequency of office and equipment cleaning
  • Updating air filtration systems to better circulate and clean indoor air

All the preventative items listed come with a cost, but failure to follow them effects your employees and the customers you serve. I know that DMEPOS providers are dedicated to serving their clients and often find creative ways to work with the system. At ACHC, we want to know what creative ways you and your team have found to address infection control. Please email us at CustomerService@achc.org to learn more.

All of us at ACHC encourage you to stay safe and know that we will continue to support you throughout this pandemic and beyond. Look for updates to include some of the ideas and actions sent in by your fellow providers.

RESOURCES:

OSHA Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

U.S. Dept of Labor Workplace Hazard Assessment
https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/hazard-Identification.html

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility-H.pdf

Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employees
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

About the Author

Timothy Safley MBA, RCP, RRT, is the Program Director of DMEPOS & Sleep for the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). For more information, visit www.achc.org.

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