COVID-19 Appointment Protocols
How NewView Eye Center has Responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic to Ensure Your Safety
The COVID-19 pandemic has been scary for everyone and has entirely changed our way of life. Here at NewView Eye Center, we want you to know that we are here for you during this frightening and uncertain time. We are doing everything possible to keep you safe while still providing the state-of-the-art eye care that you are accustomed to from us.
For eye issues that do not require an appointment in the office, we have expanded the use of our telehealth services through guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. All calls to NewView are answered by one of our highly trained staff members, who in turn relays the message to one of our doctors. If the decision is made that the issue can be handled through a telehealth visit, the staff member will then set up either a Facetime, Duo, Doxy.me, or Zoom call between the patient and the physician. This allows the patient access to excellent healthcare without the risks associated with a visit to the office.
For patients who do need to take a trip to our office at NewView Eye Center for an appointment with one of our doctors, we have instituted many new policies that reflect best practices to ensure everyone’s safety. When you are on the phone to schedule your appointment, you will be asked a series of screening questions geared at determining your risk of COVID-19 infection. These questions include “Do you have any sore throat, fever, fatigue, loss of smell or taste, or respiratory symptoms?”, “Have you been in the presence of someone with known COVID-19 in the last 2-14 days?”, and “Have you been tested for COVID-19 and if so, when and what were the results?”. If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then you will be referred to a hospital equipped to provide eye care where they are better able to evaluate and possibly treat you for COVID-19 infection. If the answer to all of these questions is “no”, then you will be asked to fill out registration forms through our website prior to the appointment in order to reduce your amount of time in the office during the visit. You will also be advised that you must wear a mask and gloves during your appointment. A homemade mask is fine! If you are unable to get a mask, we can fashion one for you out of paper towels upon your arrival. We will also let you know that no companions are allowed with you during the appointment unless assistance is absolutely needed.
When you arrive to the office on the day of your appointment, prior to entering the waiting room, you will have your temperature checked with a non-contact forehead infrared thermometer and given a pair of gloves. If normal, you will be admitted to the waiting room where social distancing guidelines will be enforced with everyone sitting at least six feet apart. If the waiting room is too full to safely accommodate everyone, you may be asked to wait in your car until it is safe to come in. If you would like to look at and try on glasses from our optical shop while you are waiting for your appointment, you will be asked to place them on the nearest counter after touching them so we are able to disinfect them before other patients touch them. If you are interested in purchasing glasses and the Optician is engaged with another patient, you will be asked to reschedule or wait in your car until the Optician is available to help you.
You will notice that all staff members will be wearing masks at all times during your appointment. In addition, all of our staff members are asked the same screening questions that we asked you and have their temperatures taken prior to each shift. We have installed safety barriers at both the check-in and check-out areas to ensure everyone’s safety. Prior to each patient entering the exam room, we use the CDC recommended 70% alcohol-based solution to disinfect all ophthalmic instruments and office furniture. We have also installed safety barriers on all slit lamps. All doctors and technicians wash their hands between each patient and wear a new pair of medical gloves for each patient. We are limiting talking by both the doctor and the patient during the exam when closer than six feet apart.
In short, when you call NewView Eye Center with your eye concern, know that we are thinking of ways to manage your needs while doing everything we can to keep you safe. While so much has changed in our day-to-day lives, please know that we are here for you and we look forward to providing you with excellent care for years to come. Thank you so much for trusting us with your eye care!