As optometrists around the country reopen their doors to routine patient care today and in the coming weeks, what new protocols and expectations for the patient experience should doctors have in place? We talk with Dr. Carly Rose, owner of Eyecare on the Square in Mariemont, Ohio in this new episode.
On April 19th the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) issued guidelines for returning to routine care under the Opening Up America 3-phase plan. The AOA verified with the CMS that routine optometric care is considered a part of this phase 1 reopening of routine care. Let’s break down the guidelines:
- Your state and local government must be in Phase 1 reopening stage to restart routine eyecare
- Healthcare workers and staff should wear facemasks
- Patients should wear a face covering at all time (cloth masks made at home are ok if surgical masks are not available)
- Staff should be routinely screened for symptoms of COVID19
- The office should maintain social distancing (spacing waiting area chairs 6 feet apart, minimizing use of waiting areas, limiting number of patients inside the building, prohibiting any visitors that aren’t necessary for patient care).
- all patients must be screened for symptoms of COVID19 before entering the facility
- all surfaces need to be thoroughly sanitized
Dr. Rose, Dr. Glover, and Dr. Lyerly discuss the protocols that their specific offices have in place, in addition to some of the challenges that these protocols pose for routine eyecare. How will wearing masks affect a patient’s ability or interest in trying on glasses in optical? How will offices continue to provide patients as many contactless service options as possible after opening their offices such as curbside optical dispensing and telemedicine appointments?
Dr. Rose also shares the success her practice has seen through embracing a strong social media presence. In addition to Facebook and Instagram, she has incorporated TikTok into her practice social media with surprisingly impactful results, from reaching thousands of people about the importance of 20/20/20 blink breaks, to selling glasses from her optical right off the platform.