Preparing to Restart Our Practices

The Governor’s stay at home order concludes on May 3rd and many offices will be preparing to return to what will be our “new” normal practice.  If your office is located in an area where the local government or health departments have more strict stay at home orders, that is the guideline you will follow.

What should we be doing NOW

  • Monitor communications from the AOA, MOA, CDC, state and local (county) health departments.
  • Make a plan for your practice
    • Clinical and non-clinical services
    • Purchasing
    • Staff roles and responsibilities
    • Educate staff on appropriate use of PPE
    • Communicate with local medical offices, surgery centers and hospitals to let them know you are seeing emergent/urgent care patients and will be open to routine referrals on XXXX
  • Prepare your office space
    • Cleaning and sanitizing the office and dispensary
      • Have a process for sterilizing all equipment and materials (frames). Instructions for cleaning VF machines, Optos and OCTs are below
      • Workload plans including opening and closing protocols and cleaning between patients
    • How will you triage patients needing urgent care, normal appointments and rescheduling patients?
    • Rearranging you waiting areas and removing toys and magazines
    • Anticipate supply needs
    • Develop screening protocols for staff and patients
      • Taking temperatures for both
      • Staff showing symptoms of being sick should not be permitted to work
    • Develop a plan to manage patient flow to ensure appropriate physical distancing
      • Waiting area capacity
      • Request patients call or text upon arrival
      • Require that companions remain outside unless patient has mobility issues or needs assistance
      • Establish longer timeframes between patient appointments
    • Post signage regarding new office protocols
  • Scheduling
    • Contact and check on your complex patients: Diabetes, glaucoma, AMD, complex contact lens patients, myopia management
    • Identify patients that were postponed
    • Appointments only, no walk ins when other patients are there
    • Develop scripts for scheduling patients and advising patients of new office protocols
      • Wellness surveys
      • Mask requirement for staff and patients
    • Update your social media to alert patients to reopening and new protocols

Resources:

https://www.optovue.com/instrument-cleaning-and-disinfection-procedures

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/controlprevention.html#health

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinic-preparedness.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

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