We asked Michael Blaiss, MD, FACAAI, executive medical director, to reflect on how the pandemic will affect our future practice.
What lasting changes might be made in our practices as a result of COVID-19?
All of us, as allergists, would love for everything to get back to the way it was in our practices before the COVID-19 pandemic. That won’t happen. We will have a “new normal.” Probably every one of you is now doing some form of telemedicine, many for the first time. One lasting change after the pandemic will be the continued use of telemedicine on a regular basis. I don’t believe it is to be a major part of your practice, but patients are getting used to it and will want it for certain visits. Another aspect of the “new normal” will be placing high priority to patient safety in the office. It is going to take time before many patients will feel safe coming to physician’s offices. You will be taking steps so that your practice is prepared for a future outbreak. Of course, there has been a severe financial crisis for the practicing allergist. This will lead to all practices becoming “lean” in assessing the need for staff and how to lower overhead. If you did not have a line of credit before the virus hit, you will mostly likely get one now.