Jun 18, 2020 03:40PM
By Roger M. Kaldawy, M.D
Eye health and examinations are important. Eye conditions and diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and infections will not stop progressing if there is an epidemic. Practices are adhering to the recommended coronavirus safety measures to protect their patients, staff and physicians. It is important to communicate these protocols to our patients.
The CDC has developed a useful infographic to recommend standard protocols for healthcare facilities. Although designed for outpatient dialysis facilities, it can be used also as a guide for ophthalmology clinics.
We have created our own internal infographic or signage with these considerations in mind:
Here is how our practice is meeting the CDC guidelines: Our practice protects you by paying special attention to:
· Personal hygiene for patients and healthcare personnel (HCP)
· All patients/HCP wear masks
· Strict screening protocols
· Monitoring HCP and patients for symptoms
· Isolating symptomatic patients in the clinic
· HCP use of PPE and proper training
· Cleaning and sanitation protocols
· Limitations on patients in the clinic
· Social distancing in our clinics by changing the design of our waiting rooms
· Encouraging staff and patients to share concerns
· Showing how you are staying current with appropriate guidelines
· Adhering to very strict internal practice protocols in addition to CDC guidelines
· Being committed to our mission and your health
· Using Safety resources from the CDC and the American Academy of Ophthalmology
· Following Massachusetts State Government guidelines
· Showing our changes on social media, our Facebook page and in this paper
Don’t skip your eye exam, but take precautions.
If you’re due for an eye exam, you may be nervous about going to the doctor’s office. Rest assured that ophthalmologists, like all medical professionals, follow strict hygiene and disinfection guidelines.
You might notice some changes to the regular routine:
· Your eye doctor uses a special plastic barrier called a slit-lamp breath shield. This helps block the exchange of breath between patient and doctor.
· Your ophthalmologist will also wear a mask.
Eye doctors recommend the following precautions:
· If you have a cough or a fever, it’s essential to call your doctor’s office ahead of time and let them know. If your visit is not an emergency, they may ask you to stay home.
· If you arrive sick, your doctor will ask you to wear a protective covering or mask, and to wait in a special room, so that you won’t expose other patients.
· Your physician may wait until after your slit-lamp eye exam to talk with you or answer questions.
· If you anticipate a cough or sneeze during your exam, move back from the microscope and cover your face with a tissue. Wash your hands with soap.
At Milford-Franklin Eye Center, we use state-of-the-art laser technology to treat a variety of eye problems and we continue to support our communities during this crisis. We sterilize equipment between patients and screen patients before they enter the building and before they register. It is important to care for your eyes so avoid postponing your eye examinations and follow-ups. Let us know if you do not feel well before you come in. With two offices in Franklin and Milford and a dedicated surgery center in Milford, no more need to travel hours for your eye care or surgery. We are the area’s leading eye care practice, with seven providers and a team of 50 staff and we continue to bring you world-class eye care closer to home- as always and now during this health crisis.