Tips for Efficiently & Safely Holding 2020-2021 Flu Clinics

So far, 2020 has dished out plenty of unexpected trials. But for pediatricians, challenges bring opportunities, which often lead to innovation. While COVID-19 continues to put up hurdles, we keep providing high-quality pediatric care for our patients.

As fall draws near and flu season quickly approaches, we know that the standard flu clinic model won’t work this year. So we must take this challenge as an opportunity to innovate. But how? What will flu clinics look like in this time of social distancing? Here are some tips for efficiently navigating the upcoming flu season.

Minimize In-Person Contact

Find ways to reduce or eliminate in-person interaction. For example, make the Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) available on your website and ask parents to update insurance information on the patient portal, prior to their visit. 

Also, eliminate waiting inside the office whenever possible. Encourage patients to check-in online. You could also have a check-in hostess who escorts families to open exam rooms, then completes the check-in process there.

Prepare Outdoor and Indoor Areas

To adhere to social distancing measures, you’ll need to have as much spacing as possible, whether patients are outdoors or indoors. Think about how grocery stores are marking their floors with signs that read, “Please wait here.”

Start figuring out what that the six-feet distance looks like and how you can visually mark that on your sidewalks and in your office. Get creative by using cones and make waiting in line educational and interesting.

Consider Drive-Through Strategies

While we initially thought drive-through clinics would be the exception, they might be the rule this year. A lot of clinics are understandably trying to minimize their staff exposure, and drive-through clinics can be done safely if you have the physical parking lot space available.

However you choose to execute this system, you will likely need two teams— one for registration and another for vaccination. The first group should make sure kids are ready to go with sleeves rolled up, while the second team will administer the shots.

To read about more providing this season’s flu vaccines, download the guide – Pediatric Flu Clinics: 5 In-Depth Strategies for Efficiency While Social Distancing.

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