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Home » What's New » What Will Optometry Practices Look Like Post-COVID?

What Will Optometry Practices Look Like Post-COVID?

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COVID-19’s rapid sweep across the country has forced optical practices to make rapid clinical management decisions. Some optometrists temporarily shuttered their businesses due to the pandemic, while others began to offer emergency appointment services and telehealth. 

As mandatory restrictions begin to lift in many locations, optometrists are beginning to open their doors for routine care. But this time around they will implement strict social distancing guidelines and take unprecedented precautions to limit the spread of infection. 

Some of the Changes You Should Expect to See

1) Signage throughout the office spelling out new steps and protocols to ensure maximum safety for staff and patients alike.

 

2) Social distancing will be the new norm. Packed waiting rooms will be a thing of the past. Instead, clinics will be spacing out seating to reduce capacity and scheduling in longer intervals to minimize patient interactions. Some clinics may ask patients to wait in their cars until they receive a text message from the office stating that they can come in.

 

3) Certain practices will require appointments for individuals to see and try on the array of frames and sunglasses at the dispensary. Bookings will be in 15-20 minute increments, accessed by one individual at a time.

 

4) Methods will be introduced to decrease the number of surfaces a patient touches. This will include leaving the clinic's front door open (or replacing it with a motion-activated door), facilitating cashless payments, and encouraging patients to fill out registration forms online.

 

5) Patients who aren’t feeling well or who have been in contact with someone who is ill will be asked to reschedule their appointment two to three weeks in the future.

 

6) Measuring one's temperature at the entrance will become commonplace — this goes for both staff and patients. Though not the most reliable screening tool, as those who are asymptomatic can still spread the virus, it will identify some people who aren’t well.  Anyone registering 100.4° or above will be sent home.

 

7) There will be more time between appointments, to allow the staff to thoroughly clean and disinfect before and after each patient’s visit.

 

8) Many eye practitioners will be wearing safety goggles and face masks, particularly during any up-close contact with the patient. Patients may also be asked to wear masks.

 

9) Individuals with suspected ocular infections will be put in a special containment area.

 

10) Practices will frequently wipe down any patient area, including chairs, counters and doorknobs. Every exam room will be completely disinfected between appointments. In the dispensary, frames will be promptly disinfected after patients touch them.

 

11) Patients will be requested to wash or disinfect their hands upon entering the office and when entering different rooms. Downtown Vision Centre in Vancouver has strict hygiene and sterilization protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections. 

 

If you're dealing with a vision or eye health issue and need to visit Downtown Vision Centre, or if you would like some more information on how we have adapted our practice due to COVID-19, please don't hesitate in contacting us. We'll be happy to assist you however we can.

 

Downtown Vision Centre serves patients from Vancouver, Washington.

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Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we have had to temporarily reduce our hours. Click here for our July/August hours.

With all of the unknowns confronting us in this difficult time, what remains certain is the importance of eyecare. Many of our children have unfortunately, although understandably, been exposed to much more screentime than ever before. Whether you believe and hope they will need to see the chalkboard across the classroom later this year, or whether they will be attending Zoom classes, we have special lenses for minimizing the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome, and methods for managing their nearsightedness. You also may be in need of relief for long hours of screentime, or you may need a new set of frames or contacts, and you may have pushed off a comprehensive eye exam which can be critical in detecting budding vision disorders and other health conditions. We encourage you to make an appointment with us as soon as you can, so that you will have one less worry as we move together towards a “new normal.”

Call us today to schedule!

Click here for the hygenic procedures we are implementing to keep you safe and healthy.