Protection from COVID-19
At Massachusetts Dermatology Associates, the safety of our patients and staff is our highest priority. We have implemented numerous measures to ensure your safety, including screening out patients with COVID, extensive cleaning between visits, touch-free processes, and social distancing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prevention of COVID-19 at Massachusetts Dermatology Associates:
How can I be confident that I won’t be exposed to a patient or visitor with COVID during my visit?
Patients are only allowed to enter our clinic at Massachusetts Dermatology Associates AFTER they have been thoroughly screened for symptoms or exposures to COVID-19. Patients with possible symptoms of COVID or COVID exposures are restricted from entering the clinic. Patient guests are not permitted in the clinic unless they are essential to the patient visit. Guests who are essential must be specifically approved in advance and must complete the same screening process as the patients. Upon arrival, clear signage reminds anyone entering our front door that they are forbidden to enter if they have any COVID symptoms or a recent exposure.
How can I be confident that I won’t be exposed to a physician or staff member with COVID during my visit?
Every physician and staff member at Massachusetts Dermatology Associates must complete a thorough COVID-19 screening questionnaire every morning before working on-site at our clinic. Staff members with even mild or non-specific symptoms are re-assigned to work from home.
How can I avoid waiting at check-in prior to my visit?
Most of our patients eliminate on-site check-in altogether! Three days prior to their visit, patients will receive an e-mail with a link which will guide the patient to an easy to complete online check-in. This online process which we call “Rapid Check-in” eliminates the need for patients to check-in on-site, so patients can be brought to a private clinic exam room right away. If you plan to be seen at Massachusetts Dermatology Associates and have not provided an e-mail address to us in the past, we would encourage you to call us with your e-mail information so that we can offer you the online check-in option. If you prefer not to use the online check-in option, not to worry! We have taken measures to reduce wait time at our check-in window. On-site check-in should not take long and after check-in is complete, patients are promptly brought to a private clinic exam room.
Will there be other patients in the waiting room when I arrive?
Massachusetts Dermatology Associates has taken many measures to minimize the number of patients in our waiting room. Generally, the waiting room is either empty or has at most a few patients spread out at a distance of greater than 6 feet from each other. Massachusetts Dermatology Associates has reduced the number of patients we see each day in order to reduce the foot traffic through our clinic. We have also restricted visitors and rarely permit patients to bring guests. Most seats in our clinic are labelled as not for use in order to promote social distancing.
Will I be able to wash or sanitize my hands during my visit?
Massachusetts Dermatology Associates encourages all patients and staff to wash their hands frequently. Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers are located in the reception area and throughout the clinic, including every clinic room. Additionally, sinks are located in the hallway, in many of our clinic rooms, and in our four private bathrooms, including the bathrooms in the reception area.
How can I protect myself from touching surfaces during my visit?
Exam rooms will be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly after every patient, including all exam room chairs, exam tables, counters, and doorknobs. Pens and clipboards are wiped between uses. Reception area chairs and bathrooms are wiped throughout the day in addition to an enhanced nightly cleaning of the full clinic. We have made many of our processes touchless by switching to verbal rather than written consent and by encouraging online check-in, including an option to pay your copay online if preferred. In addition, we have removed from our clinic any non-essential objects that are likely to be handled by more than one patient. We have removed magazines, candies, and our coffee station, and we limit water coolers to staff use only. We encourage you to bring your own books or magazines for personal use and consider bringing a water bottle.
Are all patients required to wear a mask?
Yes! All patients, physicians, and staff members are required to wear a mask or a face covering for the full time that they are in our building and clinic. Patients must keep the mask on for the duration of their visit and the mask may only be removed briefly in the clinic room if removal is essential to the patient’s medical examination or treatment.
If I require surgery or treatment on my face that might require removal of my mask, how can Massachusetts Dermatology Associates ensure my safety?
If your treatment site can be addressed without removal of your mask (ears, lateral cheek, forehead, upper nose) then we will keep your mask on during the procedure. We may replace your mask with our medical procedure mask. In some cases, if the lesion is under the mask area, we may choose to adjust, fold, and tape the procedure mask to your face rather than use the earloops in order to expose the treatment area, but keep the mask over your nose and mouth as we work. In cases where the treatment site is on the lower nose or mouth and the mask must be removed, staff members and physicians wear two layers of mask including an N95 underneath a procedure mask, thereby providing an extra layer of protection for both the staff member and the patient. Glove use and frequent hand hygiene are also mandated for encounters of all types.
Can I reduce the amount of time that I spend with staff members during a routine visit?
The online rapid check-in not only eliminates the check-in step, but also streamlines the clinic visit. The on-line check-in allows patients to update medical information and provide information regarding the reason for the visit in order to reduce time spent acquiring this information in the clinic room. In addition, all staff members are trained on social distancing protocols. In addition to wearing masks, staff and physicians will not shake patients’ hands and will sit at a slight distance from their patients. When examining a patient, physicians will be wearing gloves.
Should I plan to wait in my car?
In most cases, patients at Massachusetts Dermatology Associates can be brought to a private clinic exam room right when they arrive, so in most cases there is no need for a patient to wait in a car. Occasionally, if patients are more than a few minutes early for their appointment it may be preferable to wait in the car. To promote social distancing, we discourage patients from sitting in our waiting room for more than a few minutes.
I have a family member or friend driving me to my appointment. Can they come with me to clinic as my visitor?
To accomplish our goals of social distancing and safety, Massachusetts Dermatology Associates policy currently prohibits visitors unless they are essential to the visit and have been specifically approved and screened prior to the day of the appointment. Please request that your driver wait for you in their car or plan to meet you at a location outside of the clinic.
If I still feel safer staying home does Massachusetts Dermatology Associates offer telemedicine?
Yes! Massachusetts Dermatology Associates will continue to offer virtual video visits for routine care that is amenable to video-based evaluation.
Should I delay my appointment until COVID is no longer a concern?
If you have a skin concern that is worsening or could become dangerous, please do not delay your care! Please remember that waiting can make your symptoms and conditions worse. Sometimes treatment may become more difficult or complex if a concern has been ignored for a prolonged time. Extensive measures have been taken to maximize safety during visits to Massachusetts Dermatology Associates, but if your concern is mild and you prefer to wait, please call our office and we will gladly reschedule you for a future appointment.
How can I help keep myself and others at Massachusetts Dermatology Associates healthy and safe?
- Please use online check-in if you are able
- Keep at least six feet between yourself and others whenever possible
- Wear a mask at all times during your visit
- Practice good hygiene such as hand washing and/or hand sanitizing
- Do not enter the Massachusetts Dermatology Associates clinic if you have any COVID symptoms or recent possible exposures
- Alert a Massachusetts Dermatology Associates staff member if you have any safety questions or concerns