New updates to the novel coronavirus 2019 and associated COVID-19 are coming fast and furious, and healthcare providers—including ODs—may not have a clear understanding of how to apply this information to their pratices.
In the hopes of offering inspiration, we gathered information from ODs around the country on how they are handling COVID-19.
We asked optometrists, including many Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board members, how their offices are addressing disinfection and potentially sick patients or staff. Their responses are below.
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Katherine M. Mastrota, OD, FAAO
New York City
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member
Our office does not fit contact lenses, so they are not a concern.
• Canceling all non-urgent optometry appointments to limit staffing and patients in the medical centers.
• Doctors are working a rotating 12-hour schedule to allow other doctors to stay home and to reduces people in the centers.
• Technician support has likewise been reduced on rotation and overall hours.
• No contact ocular testing unless absolutely necessary that day; this includes gonioscooy, tonometer, and contact pachymetry.
• No non-contact tonometry (NCT), especially for patients with red eyes.
• Patients are asked at the front desk to wash hands or apply hand sanitizer before they enter any examination area.
• Staff wipes down spectacles of presenting patients.
• All slit lamps feature homemade sneeze guards, letter-size.
• All exams are problem focused, so no ancillary testing will be performed unless needed for diagnosis or change in treatment.
• Full exam chair and instrument wipe down with disinfectant wipes (not tiny alcohol preps) between each patient.
• Any patient at risk will be given a face mask to wear.
• Triage stations are located at security as patients enter the facility before they get to optometry. Triage stations are plastic rooms that were build to isolate at risk patients from passing security.
• All clerical staff are reduced to alternating teams to report to work.
• Clinical areas are compressed to reduce travel and staffing throughout facilities.
• Maintenance are full schedule.
• Some specialty services are cancelled.
• Optometrists are selecting which patients must come in.
• All directors appointed three people who could take over if they needed to be out.