About Project AesCert®
As stay-at-home orders were gradually modified and the economy slowly began to awaken, there was much pent-up patient demand for aesthetic services after months of COVID-19 lockdown. Similarly, aesthetic medicine practices wanted to reopen for business and be available to deliver high-quality care to their patients. However, research showed that patients do not want to undergo elective treatment without adequate safety precautions, and to this point, there has been much confusion among physicians and patients alike as to what such safety measures should entail.
While several aesthetic practice groups and medical societies have posted thoughtful recommendations in this regard, Project AesCert, organized and funded by the Skinbetter Science Institute, for the first time brought together leading authorities from the aesthetic medicine specialties with national experts in SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 to provide the first broadly integrated set of principles for returning to aesthetic practice in the current environment. Project AesCert identified and established a world-class, multidisciplinary panel of board-certified medical and doctoral experts in the fields of Infectious Disease, Immunology, Public Health Policy, Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, and Facial Plastic Surgery. The result of their work, the Project AesCert Guidance (“Guidance”), represents a consensus of studied principles that combines learnings from major hospital systems on the frontlines of treating COVID-19 patients, prestigious academic research institutions studying the underlying SARS-CoV-2 virus on a global basis, and leadership of the dermatology, plastic surgery, and facial plastic surgery specialties who understand what it means to implement elevated safety measures within the reality of a busy aesthetic office.
The Guidance is intended to be of value equally to aesthetic physicians, their medical and office staffs, and the aesthetic patient community. On the provider side, the Guidance offers practical, actionable recommendations for healthcare professionals and support staff to implement safety protocols for the real world procedures and other workflow activity in aesthetic practice. By providing visibility to these principles, the Guidance aspires to educate the patient community as to what it looks like when an aesthetic office is doing everything reasonably possible to provide a safe environment for elective care in the new world of COVID-19, thereby increasing confidence. Given the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak and overall reduced risk tolerance for elective procedures generally, the Guidance often exceeds traditional aesthetic office safety precautions, and sometimes those recommended from other sources.
The AesCert Guidance does not and cannot insulate physicians or patients from the risk of COVID-19. All aesthetic care involves risk of complications, including the risk of disease transmission. Of course, this risk is materially greater during an ongoing pandemic. And it is greater still while community spread continues to occur in certain areas, and without a vaccine or easily available, safe treatment.
The Project AesCert Guidance was published in the June 2020 issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Facial Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Medicine, and is available at www.aescert.org.
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