Knowledge Library

Current Status of COVID-19 Testing

As the nation continues to struggle to manage the COVID-19 (COVID) pandemic, one crucial element to mitigating the crisis- testing- has continued to present a variety of challenges to health care providers.  Barriers to effective COVID testing include shortages of testing supplies, doubts about accuracy, and evolving recommendations around who should be tested.    Types of Tests  Currently, available COVID tests analyze tissue or fluid samples to assess the current or past presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  The types of tests include molecular, antigen, and antibody testing. Most of the COVID-19 testing currently being conducted in the U.S. uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to amplify and detect the presence of viral DNA.   Each type of test has its advantages and drawbacks.  The FDA published the table below to help inform both providers and the public about the various types of testing being completed in response...

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Masks in the Medical Practice: Can Patients Refuse?

Public health officials and regulatory bodies have been clear that those working, visiting or being treated in a healthcare setting should wear face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While face masks and their overall effectiveness have been questioned by some, wearing a cloth face covering has been shown to reduce the rates of COVID transmission in the population and may even reduce the severity of illness for those who are infected. For this reason, it is recommended that all healthcare providers require patients to wear face masks when they are receiving medical care. Unfortunately, some patients are unable...

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FAQs: COVID-19 Informed Consent

Q: Can I be sued if a patient contracts COVID-19 after coming in for an office visit? A: Yes, although plaintiffs may have a difficult time substantiating the origin of the infection given that the typical patient will have multiple opportunities for potential exposures. Medical practices should implement reasonable protocols to mitigate risk of infection to both patients and employees, such as those required by state and local public health officials and infection control guidelines put forth by the CDC and OSHA. Q.) Should I require my patients to sign a waiver absolving me of liability related to COVID-19? A.)...

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Practicing during a pandemic – Coronavirus/COVID-19

Since first emerging as a novel virus in December 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak has quickly enveloped the world and, as of March 11, 2020, it was declared by the World Health Organization to be a true pandemic. Currently, there are over 118,000 cases in 114 countries, with 4,291 fatalities. In the U.S., there are 1,215 cases in 43 states, with 36 associated fatalities- and those numbers are growing rapidly. A few of the issues that challenge the response to the coronavirus outbreak are the variability of symptoms and disease severity of COVID-19 in individuals, a shortage of viral test...

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