Click here to read Dr. Helm’s full office closure communication from March 20, 2020.
Click here to read Dr. Helm’s communication from March 23, 2020.
Dear Helm Ortho patients and families,
I hope you and your families are healthy and safe! It has been quite a ride for everybody since mid-March! Nothing is certain. Perseverance and adaptability to change have been necessary more than ever. This morning was another reminder of that for me. As I, along with my team, had started looking at May 1st as a possible date to start the re-opening process of our office, that was quickly changed as Mayor Hancock extended his stay at home order for the city and county of Denver to May 8th.
Your care is important, no doubt. However, in today’s world the consideration of safety has surpassed all other considerations. Because of this, we will be required to continue to exercise patience and wait for the stay-at-home orders to be lifted and to wait for further directives coming from Governor Polis regarding what will be required of businesses in order to re-open. We have already been diligently working on our operation plan for resuming business when the time comes in a way that will ensure the safety or our patients and our team. Ultimately, we have the responsibility to create a model of practice that will allow us to resume care while maintaining social distancing requirements. This will include changes such as:
- Patients texting our office when you arrive and waiting in your car instead of in our reception area.
- Health screenings prior to entering the office detecting any fevers or other symptoms.
- Patients brushing before arriving to their appointment.
- Patients wearing masks while in the office (we will have limited supply for patients, so we are encouraging you to bring your own).
- Only one healthy adult will be allowed to accompany a child to their appointment, and if you feel comfortable allowing your child/teen to attend their appointment on their own we encourage that for now. We will not deny a parent the ability to accompany their child if they feel that is necessary, but only one healthy adult and no siblings please.
- All team members will be wearing masks and other appropriate personal protective equipment.
- We will ask you to arrive on time to your appointment so that we have adequate time to disinfect and sanitize the office before and after each patient (of course, we have always followed all CDC recommendations on office sterilization and this will not change, but additional wiping and sanitizing surfaces will be implemented).
- Appointments will be spread out and staggered, and the volume of available appointments will be reduced as a result. We will be expanding our patient days and times to compensate for this loss of appointment availability (please be patient with us as we work through optimizing this to meet everyone’s needs).
- We have implemented telehealth and virtual appointment technologies into our practice and will use them where appropriate for monitoring treatment progress in an effort to increase appointment availability while maintaining social distancing requirements.
There are many other changes that will be implemented — these are just a few! It’s all in the name of patient and team safety. I know this is what you want for your family members, and I trust you will be understanding of all of this change as we navigate through this together.
We are hopeful that May 11th may be a possible target date to start re-opening, but we will wait for further governing directives before we know that for sure. When we know, we will start calling patients to reschedule non-emergency orthodontic care. I have been impressed with how our patients have handled this time of separation. Each of you have been incredibly understanding of the situation. I ask for your continued cooperation and patience as we continue to travel this road together now and after we re-open. We will be doing everything we can to meet each and every need of our patients, but it will take weeks.
As we all collectively continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to take a moment to say that I, along with my team, are thinking about each of you. We are looking forward to the day that we can resume providing routine care in the office, and we are working diligently to make sure that when that time comes, we will all be safe. Please know that we remain available to connect with you via phone, email, telephone, or virtual appointments for questions or assistance you may require during this difficult time. We will keep you informed about more information regarding future appointments in our office when we know more.
We are all in this together. Please stay safe. And please keep brushing!
Dr. Helm and Your Helm Ortho Team