PP stands not only for Private Practice but also Post Pandemic

How will your practice change physically to cope with the changing landscape post pandemic when mass vaccination is the norm?

At the moment the closest we get to mass vaccination is flu season but it is about to change the way we look at healthcare provision and maybe even influence the layout of our practices.

We have to prepare for post pandemic life when vaccinations rate percentages are in the 80s and it safe for patients with symptoms to enter the practice.

I recently spoke to a colleague in Dubai who had just booked for his 4th vaccine. 2 x Pfizer shots 6 weeks apart then a booster every 6 months. I believe we will be looking at this situation here from 2022 onwards.

The immediate change we have seen is the installation of “temporary” clear Perspex sneeze protection screens on reception desks. This may influence design of future reception areas altogether, a move from the open concept back to a more enclosed glass fronted area in the short term. My personal view is these sneeze protection screens will become less prevalent as we reach the situation Dubai is in now and are able to move freely once again.

Maybe anyone with mild symptoms, unvaccinated or not ticking all the boxes on the pre consult questionnaire would have a separate waiting area.

Maybe this waiting area is serviced by one or two special sterile consult rooms with minimal furniture, no paperwork, negative air pressure and a HEPA filter.

Maybe the Treatment Room has two doors and a one way traffic flow to facilitate quick throughput as the height of the flu vaccination season becomes an all year round event.

At the moment it is difficult to imagine how the experience of the last 18 months and changes in the coming months will affect your practice but I believe existing practices can be transformed and new practices can be designed to take advantage of these changes.

Government run mass vaccination centres will not last forever and the responsibility for keeping us safe will again return to our local GP.