“Stay at least 6 feet away from others” seems to be the national anthem right now. I hear it again and again at the grocery store, the office, the bank. Officials are urging everyone to socially distance whenever possible, but the problem is that it isn’t always possible.
I have been to the doctors a few times myself during quarantine, and each time I go, one of the PAs stands 2 feet in front of my face and takes my temperature from my forehead. Then I get carted off to a different room where I meet with my doctor. Close contact is unavoidable with my doctor, but it is completely avoidable with the PAs at the office. The same issue is avoidable across hospitals as well, especially in COVID-19 pre-triage.
Rather than using a hand held intermittent monitor that requires close proximity to the patient and increases contamination risk, why not use a disposable skin temperature sensor or tympanic temperature sensor? Not only do disposable temperature probes help with socially distancing, but they can help reduce PPE use and reduce contamination risk.
These sensors are highly accurate and provide 3 feet of lead wire that is attached to a 10-foot cable, so the patient’s temperature can be safely read from across the room. But how does this work? Does the patient take their own temperature? In a way, yes.
In the hospital, pre-triage will need to be equipped with a portable patient monitor that has a temperature channel and 10-foot interconnect cable. One end of the cable goes in the monitor, and the other end of the cable will be 10 feet away from the nurse. While the patient is waiting, they can grab a sterile, disposable temperature probe package and either place it in their ear or stick it under their arm.