The COVID19 pandemic has certainly changed our way of “normal” life. But it’s one thing to wear a mask and be physically distant when you are out getting your groceries – but what about in a setting like an eye exam where proper physical distancing is impossible?
It all starts with quite a bit of meticulous planning. We put ourselves in the shoes of our patients so we could make sure we had everything we needed to provide a safe experience from the time a patient enters our office to the time that they depart, while maintaining the high level of care that our patients are used to. Here are the basics:
- Doors to the office remain locked. All patients entering the office must have a pre-scheduled appointment so that we are able to track any potential exposure very carefully.
- Patients who have been outside the province/country, who feel unwell or who have been in contact with anyone who was positive for COVID will not be permitted to book an appointment until 14 days have elapsed from contact.
- You will notice more hand sanitizing stations, including one station placed just inside the office entrance for immediate use by all staff, doctors, and patients who enter the office.
- During the pandemic, anyone entering the office must wear a mask (either a medical mask or a cloth mask is fine). Staff will also wear masks and face shields or full eye protection while performing glasses adjustments, as well as doctors while they are conducting eye examinations. This protects everyone while the 2-meter physical distance cannot be maintained.
- You may notice that some extra tests are being done now, one of these is retinal photographs. Since the doctors need to be quite close to the patient’s face at times during the exam, the photos allow the doctors to get a great view inside the eye whilst spending less time at such a close distance from the patient’s face. This significantly reduces the risk of any possible exposure.
- We have temporarily adopted an over the phone check-in procedure for patients, so that there is minimal conversation and no need to touch any pens or fill out any forms while in the office.
- Everything is completely sanitized prior to the arrival of the patient and after departure of the patient, including all testing equipment, glasses frames that were tried on, debit machine, and the chairs that any patients used while in the office.
- Plexiglass barriers are present at our front desks and in our glasses dispensaries in case there does need to be any conversation or payments taken in the offices.
These are just a few of the changes that we have adopted to keep everyone safe while being able to provide routine eye care during this time. Things can change very quickly (as we have seen countless times with COVID19), and so will these new health and safety protocols in our offices.
If you are concerned about coming in for your exam or have a question about any health and safety procedures, give us a call.