Background: Hospitals such as Northwestern Memorial and associated medical clinics cautiously reopened in the week of May 11. Good information about the coronavirus situation in Chicago can be found on the Illinois Dept of Health webpage.
The coronavirus is mainly a respiratory pathogen, and does not seem to be a source of dizziness or hearing loss. We support the steps recommended by the CDC to reduce the speed that it is transmitted, i.e. "flatten the curve", and we think this has worked in Illinois.
What we are doing to keep everybody safe at Chicago Dizziness and Hearing:
CDH reduced "in person" visits to the clinic by substituting telehealth. We are physically in the office, seeing about 2 "live" patients a day/provider and doing a lot of televisits. We will continue to offer televisits to all patients as long as health insurance permits. We are also doing "tele-triage" -- getting basic information over the phone rather than in person. In this regard, if you know your weight, your blood pressure and pulse -- please let us know over the phone.
Two types of visits: regular, televisits
If come to visit us in person right now, you are a "regular visit". All new patients and about half of return patients are regular visits. We encourage low risk returns to visit in person, as we can do a better job, For everybody, we require a mask (any kind). There are no hand shakes. We take the temperature of all people entering the clinic (including staff). We ourselves use gloves, masks, and sanitize surfaces between patients, including examination equipment. Our waiting room chairs are widely spaced out.
We offer televisits -- i.e. smartphone or computer video appointments for situations such as once/year follow-up visits for Meniere's or migraine patients. We go through the same process as we do for "live" visits (i.e. get out your chart, go through our Epic EMR to see what has been going on with other doctors, discuss your symptoms with you, refill medications as needed), but we do not require you to be here in person.