The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) released new guidance for resuming elective procedures amid COVID-19. The Society has also organized access to personal protective equipment to help advance smooth, safe returns.
The new guidance calls on plastic surgeons to:
- Know the up-to-date statistics in their community
- Review patient flow plans that allow for social distancing
- Know the availability of COVID-19 testing in their area
- Reassess cleaning protocols and daily sterilization of offices
- Evaluate access to anesthesia supplies and personal protective equipment
- Spend adequate time to educate staff
- Know availability of transfer options for your office-based OR/ambulatory surgery center
- Conduct telehealth/virtual encounters in preparation or as a substitute for in-person visits
- Evaluate which services will be available upon opening and which will be postponed until a later date (e.g., those that require a patient to remove a facial mask)
- Use online patient portals, electronic communication, mail, or fax to complete registration and other paperwork prior to in-office arrival
- Implement screenings, including temperature checks and symptom questionnaires on site
- Mandate that patients wear masks and/or wait offsite before entering
- Implement staggered scheduling to accommodate an increasing trend for eliminating waiting rooms
- Wear N95 or other FDA/NiOSH approved masks and eye protection/face shields
- Identifying all high-touch areas within the facility and scheduling frequent cleanings throughout the day
Going Forward, ASPS will continue to assess government and CDC guidelines to remain an ongoing resource to members and the public as they navigate new safety measures and an ever-evolving landscape.
"Our goal at ASPS is to keep our finger on the pulse of the public and plastic surgeons for all information and questions pertaining to cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. Through our members, our organization continues to be a thought leader for the specialty," says ASPS President Lynn Jeffers, MD, MBA, FACS, in a news release. "ASPS is proud to assist our members in getting back to their practices, and prioritizing the safety of patients, plastic surgeons, and their staff," adds Dr. Jeffers. "We encourage patients to discuss questions with their ASPS member plastic surgeons who are committed to setting the standard in excellence and safety as we ramp up our visits and surgeries."