Get Your Office Ready for Flu Season
Flu season can be an extremely busy time for your practice. Managing patients efficiently can be helpful. Keep in mind the greatest clinical benefit of antiviral therapy is seen when treatment is started early – especially within 48 hours of illness onset42, so it’s important to encourage symptomatic patients to come in right away.
Here are a few things to help you and your staff prepare for the flu:
Follow the latest flu outbreaks and see if influenza is circulating in your area.
Get Flu Alerts
Sign up to receive alerts when the flu is on the rise in your area.
Office preparation steps
These tips can help you protect your practice this flu season. Don't forget to use the FluTracker to determine the flu level in your area.
1. Refresh diagnostic skills.
Promote influenza awareness in your practice to ensure that your staff recognizes the signs of flu. Rapid recognition is essential in managing influenza with antiviral therapy.10,21 Often, the onset of influenza is sudden: Fever, muscle aches, chills, and extreme tiredness are common symptoms and help differentiate influenza from other common respiratory viral infections, such as a cold.17
2. Make time for telephone triage.
Develop a practice protocol for telephone triage that will enable your office to:
- Prioritize visits for patients by severity of illness.
- Identify patients who are candidates for antiviral therapy.
- Assess if patients are taking over-the-counter medications for symptomatic relief.
3. Plan for prompt initiation of treatment.
Establish over the phone if a patient may be an appropriate candidate for antiviral treatment. Since early initiation is essential for treating influenza with antivirals, it is important to see the patient as soon as possible.10,21