How to reopen the business and get ready for patient’s return? The pandemic situation could be a bounce-back opportunity
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many medical aesthetic clinics or beauty salons closed operation due to the city lockdown rules. As the social distancing are gradually eased and the lockdown is relaxed, reopening the business is back on the table.
However, to reopen the business is not merely about back to normality, it is crucial to apply extra procedures for the sake of patients and your employments’ health and safety.
Although the pandemic of COVID-19 has put most business in a tough situation, it could still be an opportunity to re-examine the clinics’ precautions of infectious disease while offering treatment to patients.
Expert’s Advice to Medical Aesthetic Sectors
According to the Australasian Society of Cosmetic Dermatologists, they have issued a thorough guideline in April this year. It pointed out that for the laser and light-based devices, many of the treatment is done around the face which includes the nose, mouth, and mucosal surfaces which are high-risk exposure areas; therefore, clinics must take protective measures.
The COVID-19 pandemic provides us with a good opportunity to review our clinics’ infectious disease precautions including our Laser & energy-based devices and how we handle any associated plumes/smoke.
Since the coronavirus human-to-human infection is via droplets and their inhalation or deposition on mucosa along with contaminated hands, it is crucial to address the sterilization procedure again to your employee and even to patients. Here is some advice from the Australasian Society of Cosmetic Dermatologists:
The Basic Sterilization
Before and after patient contact, or after removing your personal protection equipment, regular hand washing (>20 seconds) with soap and water is the key method to reduce virus transmission. And keep in mind to avoid touching face, specifically the eyes, nose, and mouth.
For the clinic and patients’ safety, cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and medical equipment are also crucially required. Alcohol of around 70-80% or sodium hypochlorite 0.05-0.1% is proven to be effective.
Please keep in mind that sodium hypochlorite or bleach could damage medical equipment. It would be better to use alcohol instead.
Potential Aerosol Generating Dermatology Procedures
For medical aesthetics clinics, it is somehow inevitable to have treatments involve aerosol generating
●All laser plumes and electrosurgical treatments
●Air/Cryo & humidified cooling systems including dynamic in built or free standing systems are in many of our devices such as hair removal lasers, Nd:Yag laser, and CO2 laser.
For non-aerosol and laser plume generating treatments, a general surgical mask is qualified to provide virus protection. But for ablative laser such as CO2 laser that involves tissue vaporizing, it needs extra consideration to protect practitioners and patients from biomicro particles and their potential to transmit viable virus.
To reduce the risk, it is suggested to use laser rated mask or N95/P2 mask. Also consider using a plume scavenging system (suction nozzle <5cm from treatment site) and install a HEPA filter in the AC system or your laser lab air purifier.
Heads-Up for Patients
Encourage patients to have their treated area cleaned before treatments and avoid touching their face or treatment area until the therapy.
For the clinic, we should make sure the personal protection is disposable such as the eye shields or disinfected between patients.
While Making an Appointment
●Consider staggered schedule, such as one patient at a time
●Consider separate timing for potentially high-risk patients
●Limit all non-essential visitors
● Strongly consider telehealth where feasible
●Consider as minimum staffing levels as possible
(According to Northeast Region COVID-19 Coalition—Guidelines for Restarting Elective Surgery Post-COVID-19 )
All in all, it is time to make certain sacrifices by not having a full round of patients. Applying extra procedures could be a hassle but necessary to guarantee the safety of both employees and patients. It is indeed a tough time for all of us, but it could also be a time to re-examine the precaution measures to provide better and safer therapy for our patients in the future.
Northeast Region COVID-19 Coalition—Guidelines for Restarting Elective Surgery Post-COVID-19
Australasia Society of Cosmetic Dermatologists (ASCD)—Guidance on the safe use or Laser & Energy Based Devices taking into consideration Covid-19/SARS-CoV-2
Accenture—COVID-19: 5 priorities to help reopen and reinvent your business
Post time: Jul-03-2020