These are just two of the many questions and concerns that doctors and other healthcare providers often encounter when discussing masks and COVID-19 vaccines with patients. The following guidelines are intended to provide doctors with some suggested practices when involving patients in these discussions.
Encourage patients to “wear a mask” indoors and receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Due to the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, patients and visitors should be encouraged to follow the guidance of CDC and other public health organizations. These organizations recommend that individuals wear masks in indoor public places regardless of their vaccination status. In addition, according to CDC and FDA guidelines, patients should be encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to help establish protection against the virus. Doctors should advise patients who are not suitable for vaccination due to their medical conditions on risk mitigation strategies, such as wearing masks indoors, maintaining social distancing, and washing hands.
Be sure to use effective communication methods tailored to the patient. Doctors should consider using words that can better resonate with each patient. For example, when discussing the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, explain the safety of the vaccine and the benefits to patients and their families. Doctors should also be transparent with patients, such as discussing the potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine or the effectiveness of cloth masks and other types of masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19 indoors or in crowded places. Doctors should avoid using critical language for individuals with mask or vaccine problems, which may negatively affect patient trust and the overall doctor-patient relationship. In addition, sharing facts about masks and the COVID-19 vaccine may be more effective than personal opinions.
It is important to continue to implement the COVID-19 policy and other infection prevention measures recommended by the CDC and MDHHS. CDC continues to recommend that medical practices and facilities use additional infection prevention and control practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to telemedicine visits where medically appropriate, and screening of patients and visitors entering the facility Signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and implement source control measures, such as masks.
If the patient or visitor objects to or refuses to comply with the practice’s COVID-19 policy (such as refusing to wear a mask), the doctor should ensure that their policy includes an agreement explaining the CDC health professional guidelines, which may differ from the individual’s authorization or guidelines. And patients must comply with these policies while in the facility. If necessary and appropriate, the patient’s appointment may be rescheduled as a telemedicine visit, or the patient may be referred to another doctor for treatment.
Do not routinely terminate patients who refuse to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Media reports say that some doctors refuse to treat unvaccinated patients. In other cases, some doctors refuse to treat children based on their parents’ vaccination status, although the American Pediatric Association recommends not to refuse treatment of pediatric patients based on their parents’ vaccination status or position. Generally speaking, doctors are legally free to decide who to treat and terminate the doctor-patient relationship with appropriate advance notice. Before reaching a consensus on any potential moral, licensing, or liability risks that doctors may face due to routine refusal to treat unvaccinated or due to other people’s vaccination status, doctors should consider making treatment decisions based on the facts and circumstances of each situation .
Implement the medical exemption patient claim processing process applicable to the patient’s practice COVID-19 policy. Medical practice is generally regarded as a public place and must comply with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Michigan’s civil rights for persons with disabilities to take action in the implementation of its own COVID-19 policy. Doctors need to have a process to handle requests from patients and visitors to exempt the practice’s mask requirements or similar policies on medical grounds, and evaluate whether reasonable convenience can be provided. Doctors should not assume that patients or visitors who do not wear masks are medically unable to tolerate masks or cannot comply with other COVID-19 policies, but allow doctors to accept oral statements from patients or visitors. Best practice recommends not to require patients or visitors to provide medical documents to determine whether the patient or visitor has a disability that requires reasonable accommodation.
Do not provide patients with masks or vaccine exemption letters or documents that are not medically necessary. Many media reported that several doctors were subject to disciplinary sanctions by the state medical committees for granting medical exemptions to patients without objective medical evidence. Exempt. Some doctors personally oppose policies that mandate wearing masks or vaccinate against COVID-19. Other doctors may sympathize with patients who may be negatively affected by refusing to comply with mandatory COVID-19 policies, for example, patients who may face dismissal unless they are vaccinated against COVID-19. In any case, doctors should not attempt to help patients circumvent the COVID-19 policy that applies to patients by drafting false or misleading letters or other documents about the patient’s medical condition.
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Post time: Sep-05-2021