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Defining Medical “Best Practices” in Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published on Jun 12, 2020 at 6:42 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Medical professional with protective eye wear, mask, and scrubs

In general, healthcare professionals recommend and follow “best practices” in their field and use them to demonstrate how people can best protect their health in their everyday lives. Best practices can be defined as a procedure that has been proven to give optimal results through research and experience. Most times, the best practices that medical staff follow come from evidence-based science that has proven the most effective method of care for each scenario.

Best practices in the healthcare field fall under a wide range, from customer service to medical evaluations, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, best practices can look a little different. When doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers don’t follow the accepted best practices, they could be committing medical malpractice. An Albuquerque medical malpractice lawyer from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm can help you with your claim.

Let’s look at the accepted best practices, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy.

Best Prevention Practices

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, best practices aren’t necessarily that different—there are just more precautions and masks involved. The best practices for the prevention of being infected with the novel coronavirus apply to everybody—healthcare workers, essential workers, and everyone else in the world can benefit from these.

Here’s how to avoid being infected and prevent the spread of the virus:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water
  • Keep your distance from others when possible
  • Wear a mask when you’re in close contact with others
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly

Best Testing Practices

Healthcare workers currently have two tests they can perform for potentially infected people—testing for current infection or past infection, also known as testing for antibodies. Not everybody is being tested, though, because they’re not always necessary. Mild cases aren’t being tested because they can usually heal at home without needing medical treatment.

If you’re wondering if it’s best practice for you to be tested, the CDC says to look at your state and local guidelines. In New Mexico, you’ll need to visit the state’s Department of Health site, and in Albuquerque, you’ll need to contact the city’s Environmental Health Department.

Best Care Practices

Healthcare workers need to follow new best practices carefully since they are at the greatest risk of being infected on the front lines. Right now, the best pieces of personal protective equipment, or PPE, that the CDC recommends for healthcare workers are:

  • Eye protection
  • Gowns
  • Gloves
  • Masks
  • N95 respirators
  • Air-purifying respirators
  • Elastomeric respirators
  • Ventilators

Medical workers have been trained to prevent the spread of infection long before the COVID-19 pandemic, so their best practices haven’t changed in that way, but they are being even more conscious of their actions to prevent the spread now. The CDC lists how healthcare settings should handle patients with suspected or confirmed coronavirus. Some of the practices that hospitals and other healthcare facilities are doing right now are screening everyone for symptoms before entering the facility, requiring a face covering for all visitors and patients, and isolating symptomatic patients.

Contact Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stressful time for all of us. If a healthcare worker doesn’t follow best practices around you when you are in a healthcare facility, you could possibly have a lawsuit to file. Taking legal action might be the last thing on your mind since you’re thinking about the coronavirus, work, and following the guidelines when you’re in public and at home, but legal action might be your best option to get justice.

At Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, we know how complex a legal matter can be. Reach out to us if you have any questions.

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