Our doctors and staff remain committed to our core value of Patient Care, and this value guides us now as we begin the process of re-opening our doors to you. Our office has begun scheduling appointments for eye exams and other eye care needs. When possible, we will provide telehealth, to those whom it is an appropriate option.
You can feel confident that our office has revisited every step of your appointment/visit, with your safety in mind. We are evaluating new regulations as they emerge to ensure compliance with the latest guidance from both provincial and international health care authorities (i.e. CDC, WHO). This includes providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and face shields for office personnel, and having PPE available to any patient upon arrival.
Historically, we have not simply complied with CDC standards, but have always gone above the standard, with respect to hygiene. We have increased our disinfection and cleaning procedures, after each patient encounter, to yet another level. Furthermore, are also limiting the number of people in the office, to adhere to social distancing protocols, and keeping a strict eye on patient flow throughout the office.
What is the staff doing differently?
Our doctors and staff will look a little different to you. Our team has reviewed all new medical protocols on reducing the spread of COVID-19, prior to returning to work. These protocols were designed with safety in mind and every step of the journey in our office, will be a bit different. Some of the changes you will notice include:
- As much of the precheck-in and check out, will be done over the phone.
- Sanitizing the waiting room chairs, counters and all surfaces touched - after each patient encounter
- Next appointments will not be done as you leave, but will be a call back.
- Detailed questioning of any COVID-19 related symptoms, including fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell/taste, or extended exposure to an individual with COVID-19. Employees/Doctors/Patients exhibiting signs or symptoms will not be allowed in the office.
Employees will sanitize hands and put on approved PPE prior upon entering the office. All employees are encouraged to wear masks and face shields, regardless of their role in patient care.
We have limited our doctor’s schedules to allow only the minimum number of people in the office at one time. Our eye doctors will limit the number of patients per day in order to comply with provincial guidelines on occupancy and social distancing. This is best for all patients and employees, regardless of age or risk level as it reduces interaction in every hour we are open.
What to do prior to your appointment.
We encourage patients and anyone accompanying a patient to bring their own mask or cloth face covering and wear it throughout the duration of the visit. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you, at a minimum cost of $5. You will NOT be allowed to be seen by the doctor, unless you are wearing a mask.
It is important to note that only patients, who are having an exam, are allowed inside the practice. If the patient is a minor or otherwise in need of assistance, ONE person may accompany the patient—all others will be asked to wait in their car. Additional guests will be granted access only after also completing the required pre-screening questions and also must wear a mask to the office visit. If these conditions are not met by the person accompanying a minor or those requiring other assistance, the appointment for that patient will need to be rescheduled.
What to expect upon arrival at the office.
Patients and visitors are encouraged to wear their own mask or cloth face covering upon arrival to the facility (as communicated to them prior to their appointment). If not, they will be offered a mask, which should be worn while they are in the facility. The College of Optometrists of Ontario instructed us that only children under the age of 2, do not need to wear a mask.
Your background information will have been verified, by phone, prior to entering the office. When you arrive in the parking lot, you will call the office and alert us that you have arrived. The staff will verify your phone number and will call you when you can come upstairs. (If you do not have a cell phone, please let us know and we can work around this.) Place your mask on, come into the building, knock on the office door (doors, at this time, will be locked) and announce yourself. A hand sanitizer will be on the desk and you will be required to use it. Your mask will be in place or if you require one, then it will be provided for you. The doctor will bring you to their examination room.
If you need to wait (dilation, frame adjustment, staff availability) you will be instructed which chair to sit in. Please remain in that chair, at all times, until you are called. Throughout the office there will be markings on the floor, to help facilitate social distancing.
What to expect during your visit.
All equipment or tools used throughout the pre-testing process and while in the exam lane will be disinfected between every patient encounter (which we have always done), but now any surface which you may have touched, will be disinfected. We have also put a lot of thought into the new process of picking out your new eyeglasses too! Each patient will be asked to sit in the frame dispensary and work with the staff to find the frames they wish to try on. Our staff will bring as many frames to you as you like or you can point to ones, which you would like to try on. These frames will be placed in a tray. Any frames touched by you or the optical staff will be set aside in a designated bin for disinfection prior to returning to the frame board. The tray, which held your frames, will also be disinfected.
What to expect when picking up eyewear.
As with new guidelines surrounding the eye exam process, we ask that only the patient enter the office to pick-up eyewear. While we are not requiring an appointment, at this time, to pick-up your glasses or contact lenses, we may have to modify this, based on the volume of patients in the office. Please keep in mind that we will be limiting the number of people entering the office. If you call ahead, to inform us what time you would like to come in, this will help to reduce your wait.
You may be asked to wait briefly either outside or in your car if the occupancy limit of the office has been met. All patients will be signed in and fit with their product, and eyeglass frames and cases will be wiped down prior to finalizing the dispensing of frames.
We know all of this sounds very rigid and difficult, but we are still fighting the spread of covid-19. Many lives have been lost and our office is committed to reducing the spread, while still caring for you.
We look forward to seeing you soon!