COVID-19 Update 5/18/20

The Virginia Center for Plastic Surgery remains open for you. We have never closed our doors through the SARS‐CoV‐2 (COVID‐19) outbreak; we just moved to a different style of practice with HIPAA compliant telehealth visits starting in the early days of the pandemic. We are now also seeing patients in the office for elective procedures, elective surgery, and surgical follow-up. This has all been done in compliance with state, federal, and local guidelines. 

Every effort is being taken to make your safety and the safety of our team the first priority. For those patients coming into the office, we are taking everyone’s temperature at the door. We are asking everyone to wear a mask. We are asking everyone to wash their hands as soon as they come into the office. No visitors or extra family members should come into the office unless it is absolutely necessary. When you arrive for your appointment, we ask that you contact us from the parking lot to see if we are ready for your appointment – our goal is to have only one patient in the office at a time. The reception area will not be used for sitting. Every room, including countertops, door handles, exam tables, etc. are meticulously cleaned and wiped down before and after every patient use. All iPads are wiped down before each patient use and after each patient use, and we also have wipes to give you for you to wipe down your phone, credit card, and iPad at your convenience as well.

Since our telehealth solution is integrated right into our cloud based electronic medical record, it is HIPAA compliant and all of your communications with us are completely secure. This has allowed us to expand our practice and now offer evening hours for follow up appointments and consultations!

The COVID-19 crisis has not yet abated in our area. Last week, the governor agreed with the local leadership that we had not met the criteria for Phase I easing of restrictions. Unfortunately, the curve of total cases has not flattened or declined yet.

While we have a HIPAA compliant integrated telehealth solution for the office, I have been using several different video conferencing apps personally over the past several weeks. We have previously discussed Zoom and its merits. I have also been using Duo by Google and most recently Jitsi Meet. Jitsi Meet is a free and fully encrypted, 100% open source video conferencing solution that is very easy to use. There is an app for your phone, but no software is required to use it from your laptop/desktop computer. There are no time limits on the meetings and you can have up to 75 people on a call at one time. 

I have not had a chance yet to check out Signal. Signal is the smartphone messaging app that journalists and hackers use, but the free and open-source software is much more than that. There’s a desktop version in addition to its Android and iOS versions, and the mobile versions do way more than just let you securely message. You can also make voice and video calls, and everything is end-to-end encrypted. 

For those who have time to watch a little Netflix these days, there are a number of sites that are listing the best movies to watch on Netflix right now. I am not sure how all of these lists are curated, but some of these suggestions are spot on while others . . . Look at those lists as a starting point for something interesting to watch. The Pharmacist gets a recommendation here. Also recommended by our staff are the following shows: House Hunters, Insane Pools, The Office, Sopranos, Below Deck, Orange is the New Black, Outlander, and The Good Wife