Q: We had a patient (nurse ) get very upset 😡. We asked the COVID-19 screening questions when she came in and she answered that she saw a COVID-19 patient yesterday. We told her we couldn’t see her for the prophy until after 14 days or if she tests negative. She thinks we are discriminating.

A:  This is a tough situation because you want to care for her but you also need to keep everyone healthy and maintain your standards and protocols for safety.  She was honest when the question was asked, so make sure to thank her for that and explain your updated protocol as it pertains to COVID-19.  

Using the confirmation call to ask all of the pertinent questions is ideal because then you can avoid a situation like this.  It is also a good time to explain the changes you have made within the office, go over how the appointment will be different than usual, and  reinforce the need for all patients to follow the new protocols. The team needs to be ready to go over the protocols and prepared to be consistent and persistent when letting patients know that there are no exceptions.  It is all for the safety of the patients and the team members.

If this was an emergency patient and they needed to be seen, I recommend scheduling them as the last patient of the day so there is no issue of cross contamination with other patients in the office.