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Two months later, New York medical practice manager still hanging in

On June 12 Andrea Smith, practice manager for Constance M. Chen, M.D., PC, a boutique plastic and reconstructive surgery office in New York City, told Part B News how their practice was handling its PPE needs in month four of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recently got back in touch to see how she's doing now. The following conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.
Is your PPE situation stable?
Yes! We have received the majority of the items on our checklist. There are still a few items on backorder, but I have what we need to run our practice and take care of our patients safely. 
Have there been any new challenges in that regard?
I would say that my biggest challenge will be future stock replenishment... While New York state's COVID-19 situation has stabilized, other parts of the country where our supplies come from are struggling with this pandemic. I'll continue to resist the urge to hoard supplies and will only order what we need, but delivery delays and backorders are inevitable for the foreseeable future so we have to plan accordingly.
But right now, my focus is on streamlining the patient experience so that we can ensure smooth and safe interactions. 
How are you doing that?
I've updated our patient portal with a touch-free intake [process] and updated our online bill pay platform to cut down on time at the front desk. I have also set up a secure text notification system.  
What are you hearing from colleagues in other medical offices about PPE stock?
I think our colleagues are all in the same boat: We have enough PPE to function right now, but there are concerns on what the future will hold. The best advice I can pass along is to be flexible and focus on small segments of time because if you start thinking too far ahead, you can really send yourself down a rabbit hole.
Blog Tags: COVID-19
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