For the past several weeks, eyecare practices have been closed to everything but emergencies—and many practices have been closed altogether. However, as stay-at-home orders begin to lift in counties across the country, practices are beginning the process of re-opening and informing their patients that their in-office appointments can be scheduled again. In most states, this means adhering to safety precautions meant to protect both staff and patients. And, as emergency departments across the country have seen, it also may mean going above and beyond to educate patients about the steps you’re taking to make it safe for them to come in for much-needed care.
To help with this, we’ve created some free resources for your practice to share with patients to tell them what you’re doing to keep them safe.
This download includes:
- Infographics for an email blast or your patient newsletter
- Social images to share on Facebook and Instagram
This is not an exhaustive list of the steps your practice will be taking as you prepare for re-activation! But as you begin to schedule appointments, these resources offer some initial steps for patient education and communication.
We’ve designed these infographics to be easy to use and applicable to any practice, so you can quickly plug them into your patient communications. Following the best practices in crisis communication, it’s critical to be clear and transparent with your community, and to let them know what you’re doing to protect yourselves and them.
How should you use these infographics?
We’ve made these downloads in a variety of sizes, so you can use them to share on social media or via email, or load onto your practice website.
If you’re preparing a patient newsletter to let your patients know that you’re opening back up to in-office appointments, embed the email-sized infographic for an easy-to-read guide to your clinic policies. If you’d prefer, you can always include the larger infographic as an attachment—it even includes tips for your contact lens patients.
Posting on social media to update your community? We’ve also included some Facebook and Instagram-sized images for you to use.
When you share these on social media, just make sure to tag @covalentcareers.optometry!
So what are you telling your patients about your optometry practice hygiene policies?
We’ve covered optometry clinic policies for protecting community health during the coronavirus pandemic, but as we all know, it’s one thing to adhere to policies, and another to communicate them effectively to your patients.
Here are the important points to let your patients know about:
- Our staff wash hands before and after each patient interaction
- Our staff will be wearing face masks and gloves
- We will reach out to patients before appointments to confirm that you have not had any recent fever, respiratory symptoms, or flu-like symptoms
- Doctors will use face shields when examining patients
General office cleaning:
- High contact surfaces will be wiped down between uses (e.g., doorknobs, pens, reception desk)
- All surfaces will be wiped down at end of day
- Waiting room amenities have been removed (e.g., magazines, water cooler)
- Patients are asked to remain in their cars until the time of their appointment
- We ask that only patients come in for their appointment unless the patient is a minor, in which case one guardian may accompany them
- Hand sanitizer is available at the reception area
- Masks for all patients will be provided at the door
- Lab coats are washed daily
- All equipment will be sterilized between each use
- All medications or syringes are single-use and will be discarded after use
- Doctors will be offering contact lens patients extra instruction on cleaning and best practices
- Frames in the optical are sanitized between each patient try-on
- All solution bottles will be cleaned and wiped down between each use if not single-use only
- Contact lenses are cleaned in a solution that kills all viruses, fungus, and bacteria
- All contact lens cases provided by our office are brand new
In many cases, these items will be things your practice was already doing, of course! But keeping your patients informed about your policies is crucial for their peace of mind. After all, as we saw in our recent patient to clinical diagnosis translator, what we know about patients’ health and what they know about their own health is often expressed in very different terms. These resources offer a place to start the conversation about what your practice is doing to support your patients’ health.