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Guidance for Optometric Practices during Covid-19 Outbreak

In the light of Covid-19 pandemic, doctors of optometry, who happen to be frontline healthcare providers, have an obligation to make sure appropriate guidelines and requirements are being observed in their respective clinics.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some guidance provided by the AOA so you can ensure the well-being of all your staff members and patients and maintain a healthy and safe environment.

Steps to Take Before and After Patient Care

Educate yourself and staff on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19

It’s also necessary to ask your staff if they’re experiencing as these can be presenting signs of Covid-19. If any of your staff remembers report that they’re ill, you should ask them to seek immediate medical attention.

Make sure all your equipment is properly disinfected with a diluted bleach or alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol.

Staff members are also required to wash their hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds right after they arrive, before and after interacting with a patient, prior to eating and after using the restroom.

Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers to your staff, if possible. The CDC recommends using hand sanitizers that have greater than 70% isopropanol Everyone must maintain social distancing and disinfect all technologies devices before and after use.

Stock up masks, gloves and goggles. Breath Shields are available via Topcon for free to providers. Make sure there are protocols to wipe surfaces and equipment before and after the patient.

Steps to Take During Patient Care

To make sure your patients are aware of the guidelines provided by the AOA, you need to share them via email and post them on your official website and social media pages. Advise them against coming into the office if they’re experiencing any flu-like symptoms.

Instruct the patients to seek medical attention right away if they’re showing any of the following emergency warning signs:

Temperature

Flu like symptoms

· Continuous pain or pressure in the chest

· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

· coughing

shortness of breath

conjunctivitis

Inform your patients via email and on your office door about COVID-19. If they have traveled or have a temperature they are to reschedule and return after quarantine.

. Tell your patients to only bring a limited number of people to accompany them.

If any of your non-emergent patients are 60 years of age or older, have pre-existing conditions with weaker immunity, offer to reschedule to avoid putting them at risk. Make sure there are limited points of entry into the office and only a limited number of people can sit in the waiting area. Try and book 1 patient per hour and limit number of people in the office.

The chairs should be placed at least six feet away from each other to maintain social distancing. If there isn’t enough room in the waiting area, you should ask the patients to wait for their turn outside or in their respective cars.

These are just some of the guidelines offered by the AOA. For more details and clarity regarding these instructions, go to their website