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Maintaining a Sanitary Office Environment

It can be very difficult to maintain a clean and hygienic work space especially with visitors and patients always walking in and out. Although a challenging task, it is extremely important to keep an office environment clean for the health of everyone who enters the space.

Wash Your Hands

One of the most important tips to keeping a sanitary space is to keep your hands clean. Germs are most commonly spread through touch. If you are not able to wash your hands frequently, make sure you are not rubbing your eyes or touching your face. By not touching your face, you are less likely to spread germs and get sick. Another good tip if you cannot wash your hands as much as you would like is to keep anti-bacterial hand sanitizers all over the office for employees and visitors to use. Especially while at work, your hands are in contact with many different surfaces, objects and people which can often carry germs. By washing your hands frequently, with anti-bacterial hand soap, you lower your risk of getting sick and spreading germs to different surfaces and people. Posting signs around the office and especially in the restroom are a good reminder for employees and patients. Washing your hands is one of the best ways you can avoid bacteria and illness.

Office Sanitation: Equipment and Supplies

We don’t really think about how often we use the things at our desk or in our office and we definitely do not think about sanitizing them. This is a huge problem because a good amount of the bacteria in an office can be found on our desks and right at our fingertips. Phones can harbor a large number of bacteria because our mouth is so close to it and it rarely gets cleaned after using it. Keyboards and mice are also a breeding ground from germs because they are being touched all day long. Coffee cups and reusable water bottles that are used in the office should be taken home regularly for a proper and thorough cleaning. Many people will leave cups at the office after rinsing them out but this increases bacteria because it is not being disinfected on a regular basis.

Then there are the more communal supplies like a fax machine that are even dirtier. Be sure to wipe down your desk with disinfectant at least once a week to maintain a healthy work space. An employee or multiple can be assigned to disinfecting shared supplies as well as counters, tables, doorknobs, chairs and other objects in the office. Cleaning protocols and checklists are also a smart idea to implement in order to ensure the cleanliness of the entire office.

Read Labels

Even if it is common for you to sanitize and clean with a product, are you sure you are using it correctly? Many people spray product and wipe it off the surface immediately after but this is not actually disinfecting the surface because the product isn’t given enough time to work. It is important to read the labels on cleaning supplies so they will work as effectively as possible. Many products will direct you to leave the solution on the surface for a certain amount of time so it can soak and kill the germs that are present.

There is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. You want to make sure you are doing both but most importantly disinfecting a surface to prevent growth of bacteria and kill germs which are present. Many cleaning products are multipurpose and will do both to leave you a sanitized and healthy work space.

A general training in office sanitation is helpful so everyone is on the same page about the overall cleanliness of the work space. Many people may not be using cleaning supplies correctly and therefore leaving areas not properly disinfected. By giving everyone in the office space a better understanding of office sanitation standards, people are less likely to get sick and spread germs to each other or patients.

Clean Your Cleaning Tools

It is important to remember to disinfect your cleaning tools after you have used them. This will help to prevent cross contamination especially in areas like the restroom. These tools include mops, scouring pads, and brushes. The best time to clean them is when you are done with a room before you move on to the next.

With these tips, it will be easy to implement sanitation standards and practices to give your employees and patients a clean and healthy environment to keep coming back to.

Schedule a Consultation

Considering operational efficiency and management for your medical practice can be challenging with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you. Schedule an appointment here today!

5 Ways to Be the Best Medical Office Manager

A medical office manager with efficient managerial skills is vital to any medical practice. The office manager is the engine that manages the practice’s data stream, business records, operational efficiency, and business development. To be the best medical office manager, you cannot be afraid to get your hands dirty. The more integrated and involved you are with the various roles and conditions in the practice, the more efficient you become in managing and identify opportunities of growth. To maximize efficiency and safety of your practice, we have compile 5 best practices to execute.

Manage Away from Your Desk

Don’t manage solely from your desk. When you walk through the office, navigate around to ensure that your staff and clinic is functioning properly. Interact and observe several times a day. Connect with the staff, physicians and patients to maintain a healthy practice environment. Stay informed by identifying where the gaps are and making sure that all things in the office are arranged for maximum efficiency and maximum safety. These managerial skills will help you better operate as an office manager and utilize your space to do your work.

Arrange Operations for Maximum Efficiency

There are a lot of things — from printer stands to filing cabinets — crammed into medical offices nowadays. To efficiently manage the office, you need to make sure that all the things in the office are arranged and organized. Identify any areas where storage is needed and make sure all items are clearly labeled and ready for physicians and staff to access for optimal operational efficiency.

Communicate with Courtesy

As an office manager, your responsibility lies in increasing functionality, efficiency and safety. Part of this role includes answering phone calls, emails, and returning messages. It is common courtesy, and it shouldn’t need to be reminded, but all too often, there are complaints from staff members that they field calls all day that the office manager hasn’t returned yet. Timely follow up, henceforth, streamlines communication and overall customer service and information transfer among staff, physicians and patients.

Review Representative Proposals

This is one of the most important managerial skills of an office manager. It is important to meet with representatives, listen and thoroughly review their proposal for your clinic with your physician(s). If you do not review the opportunities, you are doing a disservice to your clinic. There are many lost opportunities that are beneficial to patient care and your practice misses out on the prospect if your office manager is too busy.

One key role of an office manager is to find ways to increase revenue and help the physicians provide the best patient care possible. To do so, try to mark a single 30-minute slot on your calendar 3 to 5 times a week to meet with a representative. This practice will open prospective opportunities that would have been missed otherwise. It will also reduce the frequency of sales representatives driving you crazy, calling your office for follow ups.

Get Your Hands Dirty

The office manager should know how to perform every job in the office and do it with some degree of efficiency and expertise. If your practice is short staffed or overwhelmed with patients, your office manager should be able to jump in and provide almost seamless help through the transition. If there are tasks you aren’t trained on, ask your staff to train you — this will earn respect among your peers.

Schedule a Consultation

Considering operational efficiency and management for your medical practice can be challenging with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.

 

 

The Best Layouts for Your Office Waiting Room

Physician appointments are commonly associated with discomfort and pain. Patients don’t like going to physicians in loom of discomforting news. To keep the fear at bay, physicians across practices have invested time in designing the heart of their medical practice: the waiting room.

The waiting room is the opening statement to a medical office. Patients often form their first impression of a medical practice in the waiting room or reception area. Stained furniture, old torn magazines, or a rude front-office receptionist can wreak havoc on how patients perceive the quality of their care.

The messages conveyed by a waiting can be subtle or direct. Everything from the arrangement of seating to the type and intensity of color and light has an impact on a patient’s mood and well-being. These simple office waiting room ideas can drastically improve the mood of your entire business.

Choose Colors and Tones Carefully

Because one of your main goals is to relieve patients’ feelings of tension or fear, lean towards colors that soothe, rather than those that excite. Create the ambiance of the space using color tones and contrasting textures. This could be in the furniture you choose as well as the colors of your walls and fixtures. If you are designing the waiting room, you may want to consider calming and soothing colors such as green or blue with a touch of pink for compassion. Blue illustrates honesty, loyalty and security while green is calming and soothing. Refrain from using yellow and red as they may cause anxiety and aggression.

Set the Mood with Lighting

Just as the décor sets the ambiance, so does the lighting. Adjusting the lighting in your waiting room can promote a relaxed mood. Soft, bright lights create a calming sensation that appeals to the patients. Low, warm light, on the other hand, creates a “homey” environment. Artificial lighting (i.e. fluorescent bulbs), however, can come off as harsh. Natural lighting can visually create a larger space. Out of all the office waiting room ideas for improvement, lighting is the most effective.

Pay Attention to Traffic Flow

Your waiting room space and design is the forefront of your medical office or clinic. To design a welcoming space, consider where your guests will be entering and exiting from, and make sure these areas coincide with the waiting room. Make sure décor and furniture design layout corresponds with the traffic flow. There is nothing worse than showing up for an appointment and having no idea where to go. The design of your waiting room should make sure the foot traffic flow is clearly marked.

Choose the Right Furniture

The most important part of your waiting room décor is the furniture. Not only is it the first thing your guests will see, it determines how comfortable they will feel in your space. Consider the styles, colors and fabric choices that will help support a branded look.

Measurements are key in selecting the furniture (including seating). Design your space to look professional and attractive while comfortably accommodating your visitors. To decide how much furniture, you will need, consider how many waiting room chairs would be used by your guests on the busiest day. Then select your waiting room chairs based on comfort, style and practicality. Once this is done, fill the space with tables — keeping in mind the traffic flow.

Finish with a Touch of Décor

Once you have decided on your furniture and colors, you will want to pick out some décor items that will help set the mood in your waiting room. Select things that people will remember and keep your clientele in mind. Tasteful art pieces or frame work, an aquarium full of exotic fish, or a relaxing water feature adds visual interest and it can help relax your patients before their appointments. The waiting room is also the perfect place to display information about your business and related magazines and books to help your visitors pass the time.

Schedule a Consultation

Considering space for your medical practice can be challenging with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.

Making Your Medical Office Wheelchair Accessible

Patients with mobility impairments often face challenges in visiting their medical office due to the physical barriers within medical buildings and offices, including the lack of ramps, grab bars, height-adjustable examination and imaging tables, and inadequate space within which to maneuver a wheelchair or to transfer to an examination table.

Waiting Room and Reception Room

Wheelchair accessible space should be available for wheelchair users to park while waiting for appointments at their medical office. Consider installing firm chairs with armrests to help those who have difficulty with switching from sitting to standing positions. Reception windows should be height appropriate for wheelchair users (approximately 34 to 40 inches from the ground) and incorporate a counter surface that allows wheelchair users to complete required forms.

Washroom

Your medical office should include accessible washrooms and appropriate signs to indicate their location. Accessible washroom facilities need sufficient space for turning and transferring, grab bars, and emergency call bells. Sinks, mirrors, soap, and paper towel dispensers should all be at a wheelchair-accessible height.

Wheelchair Accessible Examination Room

Accessible examination rooms have features that enable patients with mobility disabilities to receive appropriate medical care. These features allow the patient to enter the examination room, move around in the room, and utilize the accessible equipment provided. The features that make this possible include:

  • An accessible route to and through the room
  • An entry door with adequate clear width, maneuvering clearance, and accessible hardware
  • Appropriate models and placement of accessible examination equipment
  • Adequate clear floor space inside the room for side transfers and lift equipment

All examination rooms must meet requirements of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Accessible examination rooms may need additional floor space to accommodate transfers for certain equipment.

The number of examination rooms with accessible equipment largely depends on the size of the practice, the patient population, along with other factors.

Entry Doors

Under the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, an accessible doorway must have a minimum clear opening width of 32 inches when the door is opened to 90 degrees. Maneuvering clearances on either side of the door also must comply with the ADA Standards. The door hardware must not require tight twisting, pinching or grasping in order to use it. The hallway outside of the door and the space inside the door should be kept free of boxes, chairs or equipment so that they do not interfere with the maneuvering clearance or accessible route.

Clear Floor and Turning Space Inside Exam Room

In order for accessible equipment to be usable by an individual who uses a wheelchair or other mobility device, a clear pathway must be available for patient access. The exam table must have sufficient clear floor space next to it so that an individual using a wheelchair can approach the side of the table for transfer onto it. The minimum amount of space required is 30 inches by 48 inches. Clear floor space is needed along at least one side of an adjustable height examination table.

The room should also have enough turning space for an individual using a wheelchair to make a 180-degree turn, using a clear space of 60 inches in diameter or a 60-inch by 60-inch T-shaped space. Moveable chairs and other objects should be moved aside if necessary to provide additional space.

Accessible Medical Equipment

Availability of accessible medical equipment is an important part of providing accessible medical care. Accessible medical equipment includes:

  • Adjustable-height exam tables and chairs
  • Wheelchair-accessible scales
  • Adjustable-height radiologic equipment
  • Portable floor and overhead track lifts
  • Gurneys and stretchers.

The right solution for accessible medical care depends on existing equipment and space available for the examination room and storage of equipment, the size of the practice and staff, and the patient population. What is important is that an individual with a disability receives medical services equal to those received by a person without a disability.

For example, if a patient must lie down to be thoroughly examined, then a person with a disability must also be examined lying down This examination which requires specialized positioning must be accessible. To provide accessibility, the provider may need an adjustable height exam table. However, if the examination or procedure does not require that a person lie down, then using an exam table is not necessarily important to the quality of the medical care and the patient may remain seated.

References

https://www.ada.gov/medcare_mobility_ta/medcare_ta.htm

Healing Art: How Artwork Stimulates and Helps Patients

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy utilizes art media, the creative process and the production of art to explore and open feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve mental health, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

The purpose of art therapy is to improve or restore a patient’s functions and his or her sense of personal well-being. Art therapy requires knowledge of visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms) and the creative process, as well as of human development, psychological and counseling theories and techniques.

Today art therapy is widely practiced in hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, wellness centers, schools, private practice, and other clinical and community settings.

Who Can Use Art Therapy?

Art therapy helps release bottled up emotions while giving new understanding and perspective to patients. For people living with cancer, art therapy offers a way of communicating and exploring difficult thoughts and feelings. It can stimulate positive feelings as well as shared experiences.

Art therapy may be helpful for people who feel uncomfortable with touch or talk therapies. It can also be helpful in supporting families and friends affected by the patient’s illness.  Although there is limited scientific evidence, many health professional utilize art therapy to:

  • Improve mental health by encouraging patients to express their emotions and help improve their relationships with other people.
  • Help patients adjust to a changing body image.
  • Encourage patients to be creative and self-confident
  • Help to control anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
  • Help take the patient’s mind off pain or discomfort

Art therapy is practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational, wellness, private practice and healthcare facilities. Art therapy is an effective treatment for patients who experience developmental, medical, educational and social or psychological impairment. Individuals who benefit from art therapy include patients of trauma, combat, adverse physical health conditions, and other health disabilities. Art therapy programs help patients resolve conflicts, improve interpersonal skills, manage problematic behaviors, reduce stress, and achieve personal insight.

Art therapy can benefit both children and adults. Even if you’re using creative arts as a means of expression without the aid of an art therapist, there are still many benefits to be had.

What Art Therapy Involves

While art therapy requires an art therapist, you can still achieve the benefits from art therapy without experience. Art therapy programs can take many forms, including:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture, collage, or 3-D work
  • iPads, smartphones and digital cameras

If an art therapist is required, he or she will ask several questions about the patient during the first visit. By understanding the patient’s particular needs, problems, and expectations, the therapist aid can help design a plan of therapy that is most effective for the patient.

Art therapy can take place in individual or group sessions. These can last up to 60 minutes for individual sessions or longer for groups. Depending on the setting, art therapy programs can take place regularly for a fixed number of weeks or months.

Art therapy doesn’t teach patients to draw or paint. Art therapist aid will encourage patients to use art to explore their feelings and develop their own confidence and self-awareness. With the support of professionally trained art therapists, art therapy is usually a very positive process in patient treatment.

Schedule a Consultation

Artwork designed or integrated in your medical practice can stimulate and help patients. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of moving, Boulevard LA has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you and your medical practice to success.

References

http://www.arttherapy.org/upload/whatisarttherapy.pdf?utm_content=buffere6b8a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative/therapies/art-therapy#what