Balancing patient exposure with necessity
As a new normal emerges in healthcare, there are several steps ophthalmologists can take to minimize potential exposure to their patients, staff, and self, according to a presentation at Glaucoma 360 New Horizons Forum by Oluwatosin Smith, MD.
Although workflow changes are ultimately dependent on individual office settings and physician preferences, Dr Smith provided guidance for adapting to providing care during the ongoing pandemic.
Prepare for office visits by educating patients on the new process; establishing cleaning routines; ensuring a safe office airflow; and providing hand sanitation stations and social distancing guidelines.
Simplify the arrival process by having online registration or the option to call from the car; adhere to appointment times; check patients’ temperatures upon arrival; require masks; and allow for social distanced spacing and sitting.
Limit physician interaction by leaving the exam room door open when applicable; utilize slit lamp screens; review diagnostic testing prior to visit; and stand 6 feet away from patient when conversing. Providers should also reassure patients about the disease and address any potential problems.
Limit patient exposure during follow-up by extending the follow-up period when applicable; utilizing remote services; offering 90-day supply medications or mail-order options; and using remote surgery scheduling.
Rethink elective and emergency procedures by utilizing newer drop options, such as Netarsudil or Durysta, that require fewer follow-up visits or implants like Xen Gel Stent that have fewer adverse events.
Smith O. The New Normal: Updated Workflows in Glaucoma Practices. Presented at: Glaucoma 360 New Horizons Forum.