The very nature of modern medicine – the art of healing – often uses hands-on methods.
But what do medical practices do when those usual diagnostic procedures are restricted? They must look for alternative ways to treat patients and provide the same services without close contact.
The pandemic has propelled the medical industry forward with new choices for modified patient care.
Using touchless services and technology has provided the necessary adaptations to the current environment. Diagnostic tools such as infrared-based thermometers for contactless temperature checks, to non-contact options like curbside appointment check-in and electronic payment options are allowing essential medical practices to safely remain open.
Medical professionals are also investing in non-contact equipment to ensure the safety of patients and staff during the pandemic.
Optical Businesses Moving To Digital
Optical exams, frame selection, and contact lens fittings generally involve close contact between provider and patient. To keep staff and patients protected - and still offer the products and services needed - the industry has developed options to facilitate safe appointments.
Office spaces are being reconfigured. Optometry exam lanes are becoming automatic, digital and computer-based with wireless interfacing. Even eyewear measurements can be taken digitally for accurate frame fitting with minimal contact.
“We are seeing a shift to digitalized exam lanes, as well as practices adding additional exam rooms,” said Ellen Boquist, account manager at the Stearns Bank Equipment Finance Division. “With additional rooms, patients don’t need to wait in a waiting room, and proper cleaning between patients can be performed while still being able to see and treat a normal level of patient volume.”
Eye health is essential to overall health. These adaptations in care give patients peace of mind knowing they can still come into the clinic for their eyecare needs, despite the pandemic.
Chiropractors Finding Contactless Options
With many hospitals and surgical centers postponing non-emergency surgical procedures, patients in chronic pain are seeking another option. Chiropractic care may provide that relief. Deemed essential, chiropractor offices are adhering to the CDC’s pandemic guidelines and are open for patient care.
In addition to adapted cleaning practices and social distancing procedures, many chiropractors seized the opportunity to purchase equipment that allows for less contact during treatment.
During the pandemic, mechanical traction equipment (as opposed to traditional manual traction) has become a popular option for non-contact treatment of chronic pain. In addition, a spinal decompression table uses computerized sensors to perform stretching actions on the spine and promote healing. This hands-off approach benefits both patient and staff.
“Rather than manual adjustments done by the chiropractor, the table does much of the work, guided by very sophisticated computer systems,” said Ellen Boquist, an account manager lead at Stearns Bank’s Equipment Finance Division explains. “Some of our customers in the chiropractic industry added this service to their practice while others added a second unit to accommodate the high demand on their existing units.”
Providing Patients With Peace Of Mind
Human contact will always be essential for helping to heal patients. With forward thinking in reaction to the COVID pandemic, the healthcare industry has introduced safer options that still provide the much-needed connection.
Non-contact equipment and touchless technology deliver alternatives for medical professionals wanting to continue patient care in the safest way possible. These new practices likely will continue even after the pandemic is over.
“I don’t think non-contact equipment is going to go away,” Boquist said. “Nobody knows how long the pandemic will last and what long-term effects it will have, so non-contact equipment will allow for continued safe practices.”