To My Patients-
These certainly are strange and challenging times we are living in. First and foremost, I hope that you are all well and staying safe. My office has been closed since mid-March. I now want to let you know that we have re-opened the office as of Monday, June 1st and you can reach me or a staff member at the regular office number (212) 876-2200.
To my established patients -this enforced separation has reminded me yet again of how much I value being entrusted with your care and how privileged and honored I am to be your physician. Truly, I cannot wait to see you all again. I hope that you are well and “social distancing” to protect yourselves and your loved ones. Please stay safe and do not hesitate to get in touch. To potential new patients – I realize how disconcerting it must be to start with a new doctor at this time. Please know that I and my staff will do whatever we can to allow you to feel comfortable and confident with our practice.
I also want to let you all know the extra steps we are taking to insure a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. Your health, safety, and well-being and that of my staff are my primary concerns. We will be making changes to accommodate our new circumstances and we will be adhering to or exceeding all guidelines we have received from our hospital (Mount Sinai) and the New York City and State Health Departments with regard to re-opening ambulatory offices.
- We will be adjusting the schedule and allocating extra time to eliminate any congregation of patients in the waiting area to maintain social distancing both from other patients and from administrative staff. We are asking patients to please make every effort to be on time for appointments. If you are significantly early you will be asked to please wait outside and call the office to see if you can be accommodated sooner. Our goal is to eliminate the use of the waiting room completely and to escort patients to an exam room immediately upon checking into the office.
- Patients will be required to wear masks upon entering the building. This is also a requirement of our building and so no one will be allowed to enter the building or our office without a mask.
- Only patients (and caregivers for the elderly or infirm) will be allowed into the office. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this causes partners, husbands or others who accompany our patients but this is an important safety guideline that we must adhere to. Unfortunately, although we all love children, they also will not be allowed in the office during this time.
- All patients (and caregivers) will have their temperatures taken at the entrance to our office with a non-contact thermometer and will be re-scheduled if their temperature is elevated. A series of questions will be asked upon making an appointment as well as upon arriving at the office and anyone deemed to be at risk of Covid-19 illness or exposure will be asked to re-schedule.
- All staff will also have their temperatures taken every morning and will wear appropriate protective equipment. We will also all undergo Covid-19 testing on a regular basis.
- On the day of an appointment patients who are feeling ill, have a cough or fever, or who have been exposed to someone known to have Covid-19, will be asked to call to cancel and re-schedule their appointment.
As my established patients know, after the examination, I like to have patients come into my consultation room to say goodbye, go over the results of the examination, discuss what if any additional testing is needed, give requisitions for that other testing, and most importantly “catch up.” I sincerely regret that I will not be doing that during this time. For patients’ safety it is best that contact in my office remains restricted to as small an area as possible. Bathrooms and exam rooms will be completely disinfected between patients which is one important reason we are increasing the time allowed for each patient visit. I will be greeting you, examining you, “catching up” with you and saying goodbye to you all in your exam room. In addition, checking out will be taken care of by a staff member in that same room.
I hope that as time goes by, we will be able to relax some of these stringent measures. We will do our best to make this new normal as smooth and easy as possible.
Please continue to stay safe. I very much look forward to seeing you again.
My very best to all of you,
Sharon Diamond, MD