May 8, 2020
Dear PHM Ortho Patients and Families,
We hope this letter finds everyone healthy, happy and preparing to ease back into regular routines. We are beyond ready to get back to work and see everyone’s smiles in person! Much has changed since we saw you last. We are all still coming to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic and events triggered by it. Everyone on the planet has been affected in some way by this historic event. We want to update you on our office, its measured re-opening, and the steps we are taking to ensure we do everything possible to keep our patients and our team healthy.
While our office has been closed, our doctors and team have spent significant time and effort on deciding the best practices to resume delivering orthodontic care. Since we understand that oral and nasal transmission of the virus is the largest concern, and this is the area where we are working, some changes to our care delivery are necessary. The scientific information is continually changing, and we remain committed to staying as up-to-date as possible.
We will begin reopening on Monday, May 11th, slowly at first and then with some increases over following weeks. We will be following rigorous scheduling protocols and office measures to ensure the safety and well-being of you, our patients, and the team members at PHM Orthodontists.
We ask for your patience. We had to cancel over 4000 appointments during this closure, and we know that there is a strong desire to get your treatment back on track as soon as possible. We will eventually, but it will not be as efficient as we are used to in our office. This benefits everyone. We will have to be very firm in our processes and procedures. They have been well-thought-out and reviewed countless times by all of our doctors and team members.
We are rescheduling patients on a “first-canceled-first-rescheduled” basis, which is fair and efficient. Our office procedures have temporarily changed and will include the following:
- Please wait for our office to contact you to reschedule your appointments. We have a very accurate and comprehensive list of every appointment canceled, including the day and time previously booked.
- Observation/recall appointments are likely to be pushed out further than the originally-planned return date.
- We have decided to extend our office hours and days when we are seeing our patients to help manage everyone in a safe way. The points outlined below will lend clarity to this decision.
- During this time, certain appointments may be scheduled with another of our three doctors if their availability allows you to be appointed sooner.
- Emergencies will continue only to be defined by pain or bleeding. For now, broken brackets do not constitute an emergency and will be repaired at your next scheduled appointment. When you are contacted to schedule and know of a loose bracket, kindly let the scheduler know so that we can be better prepared.
- Please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
- Only the patient being treated will be allowed to enter the office. The only exception is one parent/caregiver may accompany very young patients or those with special needs to their appointments. If the patient has a cell phone, we encourage the parent/caregiver to be on the phone during the appointment to receive treatment updates.
- Please bring your own mask and wear it to your appointment. Please follow all social distancing guidelines while in the office.
- Health and temperature screening will take place for everyone entering the office. Please print and complete both forms below and bring them with you to your appointment.
- The tooth-brushing station will be closed. Please brush before your appointment.
- Our treatment area has been spaced to adhere to the recommendations of the CDC, which limits the number of patients we are able to see per day.
- You’ll also notice other changes made throughout the office to comply with the newly-extended guidelines to our personal protective equipment (PPE). These are to ensure the health and well-being of our patients and our team.
- We ask for understanding while we will try to address all of your treatment needs during your visit. Individuals with multiple broken brackets may not have everything completed during this visit due to strict scheduling times.
- At the completion of the appointment, the next appointment will be scheduled and patient will be escorted to the door.
- The patient restroom will be closed, so please prepare for that before arrival.
- Every team member will receive health and temperature screening at the beginning of each day. They will be sent home if they fail to meet the standards we are asking our patients to follow.
We are so grateful for every one of our patients, and this time away has only served to make us even more thankful for each of you. You are the life-force of our practice, and this is why we are taking your safety VERY seriously. We would ask for your patience and understanding. Expect that your treatment progress has been delayed, as has your estimated completion time. We wish that were not the case, but it is. Please forgive us as we are focusing on getting each of you back on track while not exposing our team members or patients to unnecessary risk.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email our office. Here’s to a brighter road ahead!
Drs. Hanson, Payne, Melugin and the whole PHM Ortho team
Please bring the following forms with you to your appointment: