Eyecare During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Providing Normalcy to Practice Precautions

At my practice, in Highland, Calif., we are continuing to see patients as usual — we schedule our patients a year in advance and our office is a stand-alone Victorian House, with no walk-in traffic. We have posted notices both outside the office, as well as at the front desk, reminding patients that if they have been sick, traveled or otherwise come in contact with COVID-19, we will reschedule them. They are also asked the same questions when they call to make an appointment or are contacted to confirm their appointment.
  Here are some other steps we are taking in the office to minimize exposure risk among our patients:
  • We allow only the patient into the office. If the patient is a minor, with her parent or guardian.
  • We have removed all magazines, the children’s table and books and set all chairs in the waiting room six feet apart. All other seats have been temporally removed to allow for “personal distancing.”
  • We wipe the office down both in the morning and in the afternoon, as well as the front desk area after every patient.
  • Our testing and optometric equipment are cleaned prior to every patient encounter.
  • Gloves and masks are available to our staff, if they wish to use them, although they prefer to use hand sanitizer.
  • Hand washing, of course, is an ongoing policy to minimize any contamination of patients or staff.
  • Any frame a patient touches is left on the counter and cleaned prior to being placed back on the frame board.
We are continuing to provide a bit of normalcy for our community and patients, as well as our staff. We will continue to do so, until or unless it becomes necessary to close our office. Our patients have been very understanding and appreciative of our efforts and our continuing commitment to serve our community. We continue to monitor the news and make adjustments as needed. 
— Pamela J. Miller, O.D., F.A.A.O., J.D., F.N.A.P., editorial board member

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