UPDATED 7/13/2020 – At TSAOG Orthopaedics, the health and safety of our patients, our providers, and Team TSAOG is always our top priority. As we work to address the threat of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), we ask that you work with us to minimize the risk of infection and limit the spreading of germs.
For the most up-to-date information on the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
WHAT WE ARE DOING AND WHAT YOU CAN DO:
What is TSAOG doing to protect our patients?
- Disinfecting – Exam rooms and tables are disinfected between patients. Commonly used surfaces are disinfected multiple times per day.
- Hand Hygiene – All providers and members of Team TSAOG adhere to a conscientious handwashing protocol.
- Masking Up – All providers and members of Team TSAOG wear face masks when in contact with patients or when working in close proximity to other team members. Face shields will also be worn by those providers in close contact with patients for over 15 minutes.
- Smart Scheduling – Patients who have recently returned from an area where the virus is widespread will be required to schedule at least 14 days after their return.
- Screening for Symptoms and Risk Factors – Patients and visitors for the clinic and surgery center will be screened for symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19, may have their temperatures taken, and will be asked to reschedule their appointments as appropriate.
- Social Distancing – Patients concerned with waiting in the lobby will be given the option to wait in their cars. They will be contacted via cell phone when Team TSAOG is ready to bring them back to the exam room.
- Telemedicine Visits – Telemedicine consultations will be made available for appropriate appointment types. Learn more about OrthoConnect Telemedicine consultations at TSAOG.
What can you do to protect yourself and others?
- Handwashing – Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
- Cover Your Cough – Cough into your elbow or a tissue, not your hand.
- Mask Up – The Texas Medical Board (TMB) has adopted an emergency rule which requires “a mask must be worn by both the patient and physician or the physician’s delegate when in proximity of the patient (meaning less than a 6-foot distance between the patient and the physician or the physician’s delegate).” In accordance with this rule and effective May 1st, any patient arriving for an appointment without a mask will be turned away at the door and rescheduled. Masks must also be worn by anyone over the age of 10 who is accompanying or visiting a patient. Masks are required to be worn, and cover both your nose and mouth, the entire time you are visiting a TSAOG facility.
- Leave Family at Home – In order to maintain social distancing, keep our patient areas from becoming overcrowded, and limit exposure for our staff, we are no longer allowing visitors to accompany patients into the waiting room or exam room. Anyone who accompanies you to your appointment will be asked to wait in the car until your appointment is completed.
- No Touching – Avoid touching your hands to your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Disinfect – Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home and work.
- Social Distancing – Avoid large groups of people as well as close contact with people who are sick.
- Recover, Don’t Spread – If you are sick, avoid travel except for medical care. Stay home to recover and do NOT report to work or school.
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms (including fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache, muscle aches, runny nose, fatigue, and sore throat), please give us a call and we will be happy to help reschedule your appointment for a time when you are feeling better.
PATIENT FAQS REGARDING COVID-19 AND TSAOG:
Is the office open for clinic and physical therapy visits?
Yes, all TSAOG locations remain open for clinic and physical therapy visits. We also offer telemedicine consultations for those who would prefer to avoid an in office appointment.
What can I expect when I arrive at the office?
For the safety of everyone involved, we are screening all patients and visitors prior to entry to any TSAOG clinic. This screening will include a temperature check as well as general health-related questions. If you are determined to be at risk based on this screening, your appointment will be rescheduled for a later date.
Can I wait in my car instead of the waiting room?
Yes. When you check in for your appointment, you will have the option to provide your cell phone number to the front desk so that you can wait in your personal vehicle. We will contact you when we are ready to bring you back to the exam room.
Why aren’t you allowing a visitor to come with me to my appointment?
In order to maintain social distancing, keep our patient areas from becoming overcrowded, and limit exposure for our staff, we are no longer allowing visitors to accompany patients into the waiting room or exam room. Anyone who accompanies you to your appointment will be asked to wait in the car until your appointment is completed.
Is there staff in the office working if I have questions?
Many of our staff have been set up to work at home, but their phone lines are being forwarded, so you may reach them on the same phone numbers you normally use to contact them. Please note: our phone communications are somewhat limited in this environment (they may be only able to answer one call at a time vs. up to three lines in the office) and, as such, you may experience higher than normal need to leave a voicemail. This should be expected during this time, so please do leave us a voicemail. We are monitoring our messages and returning calls as quickly as possible. IMPORTANT NOTE: when our staff returns your call, it may register as a “private number” if they are working remotely. Please make sure to answer these calls to avoid an infinite game of phone tag!
Are you still performing surgery?
Yes. In accordance with guidance from local, state, and federal authorities, we have resumed scheduling elective surgical cases. Please be aware, your surgical experience will differ from prior experiences. For example, we will not allow visitors to remain in the surgical facility. Parents/guardians of minor children and other unusual individual circumstances will be the only exceptions to this rule. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has released FAQ’s in English and Spanish for patients regarding elective surgeries and COVID-19.
How will you communicate with my loved one after surgery?
Your loved one will be asked to leave a phone number upon check-in so that we may communicate with him/her when you are in recovery. Your physician will call shortly after surgery and our nurses will call again when you are ready to go home. The nurses will give discharge instructions over the phone and will leave written instructions with your loved one when they arrive to pick you up.
What if I need to schedule an appointment?
You may schedule an appointment with us using our online scheduling link. It’s easy and available 24/7! You may also call to schedule an appointment at 210-281-9595, but you may be asked to leave a message and wait for a call back.
Should I wear a mask to my appointment?
Yes! The Texas Medical Board (TMB) has adopted an emergency rule which requires “a mask must be worn by both the patient and physician or the physician’s delegate when in proximity of the patient (meaning less than a 6-foot distance between the patient and the physician or the physician’s delegate).” In accordance with this rule and effective May 1st, any patient arriving for an appointment without a mask will be turned away at the door and rescheduled. Masks must also be worn by anyone over the age of 10 who is accompanying or visiting a patient.
Thank you for helping us keep TSAOG safe and healthy!