Is it still ok to visit your doctor during coronavirus?

Everything is operating a little differently right now. Businesses are closed or implementing new policies to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. At SmartClinics, we have put in place a number of changes to help improve our patients’ safety and ensure that we do our part to ensure Australia can combat this health crisis as quickly as possible.

A large aspect of the changes we have implemented is our new Telehealth service. Our Telehealth appointments have been put in place to help people get the help they need without risking their health, or the health of others. We have had a number of patients query whether it is still safe to attend their clinic in person. The answer is yes, however, there are a number of caveats.

What is the Telehealth service?

Our Telehealth service allows us to serve our patients without needing them to come into a practice. We have put this in place to help reduce the risk of healthy people being exposed to those who may be potential carriers of the coronavirus. For now, all SmartClinics patients are required to go through a very brief screening process to assess their level of risk. Some patients may be asked to utilise the Telehealth service rather than coming into a clinic. Others will be considered fine to come in.

Please keep in mind that our screening process is by no means evidence of whether or not a person has the coronavirus. It is simply put in place to help mitigate risk. If you go through the screening process and are asked to book a Telehealth appointment, this does not mean you have the coronavirus. Alternatively, if you are cleared for a visit, that does not mean you are not a carrier.

Is it safe to visit a SmartClinics medical practice?

The answer is yes – we have taken (and continue to take) all reasonable precautions possible to prevent those who are ill with the coronavirus being exposed to our staff or patients. Part of this is screening all online bookings and appointments made via phone call, however there are some practices we have put in place inside each clinic to help ensure high levels of hygiene and reduce the spread.

What is SmartClinics doing to keep clinics safe?

Beyond our screening process, we also have a number of measures inside clinics to help reduce any potential spread of COVID-19. All surfaces in our patient meeting rooms are cleaned and sanitised after every single appointment. Preliminary studies have shown that disinfectant is very effective at breaking down the virus and eliminating its presence.

Our sanitisation process is aimed at ensuring there is as little as possible chance of any remnant coronavirus being found inside patient rooms after we have seen a patient, regardless of how healthy they appear or how little contact they had with surfaces.

Additionally, many of our clinics have implemented a dual waiting room approach. In these clinics, there are two waiting rooms – one for those who are feeling well, and one for those who exhibit any potential systems of COVID-19 or other respiratory infections. This procedure has been put in place to help isolate potential carriers of the coronavirus from those who are otherwise healthy.

Social distancing policies are in place at all SmartClinics practices. You will be instructed to maintain your distance, wherever possible, from other patients and staff. Additionally, we have hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes available at all our practices for the use of patients. You are strongly encouraged to use these upon entry to our practice.

What do I do if I believe I have COVID-19?

If you have undertaken our screening process and have been recommended to book a Telehealth appointment, or if you for any other reason believe you may have contracted the coronavirus, please contact us. We will assist you in finding your nearest Fever Clinic so that you may undergo further testing.

Learn more about our Telehealth appointments

We have put together a basic FAQ to help you get a deeper understanding of how the telehealth process works. Please click below to read our guide:

Click here to read the SmartClinics Telehealth Guide.

SmartClinics COVID-19 Policies:

We are not currently accepting any patients into any clinic who meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing.

We have a “well waiting room” and an “unwell waiting room” to help keep our patients isolated.

We have screened all phone calls and online bookings to help reduce the chance of a person who is ill with COVID-19 coming into a clinic.

We are practicing social distancing wherever possible.

Have plenty of hand sanitiser and wipes and we strongly encourage all patients to use them.

We are cleaning down and sanitising surfaces in between patients. This includes chairs, tables and all surfaces contacted during each appointment.

Contact SmartClinics

If you still have questions, please contact your local SmartClinics Medical Centre:

Click here to find a SmartClinics near you.