Re-opening one’s business during a pandemic is stressful enough without other external factors adding to this exhausting and trying time. We work with many eye care professionals on a daily basis as we offer space planning, complete dispensary re-design, optimized retail traffic flow, etc. Because of this, we decided it would be worthwhile to discuss the latest challenges our network of optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians are currently facing. We decided to reach out to our network of ECPs and then compiled a list of the most frequent problems ECPs are facing as they re-open.
Here is what we learned:
What are the best pre-entry guidelines we can follow to test patients before they enter our practice?
We strongly recommend that you take each patient’s temperature prior to them entering your practice. The issue with this step is that your patients could be taking fever reducing medications, which means a thermometer won’t tell you much. If you would like to go the extra mile, you could consider measuring O2 saturation as COVID-19 is a respiratory illness after all. At the end of the day, the goal is to keep yourself and your office staff safe.
Note: We recommend checking temperatures and O2 saturation for staff at the beginning, middle and end of their shift.
Which protective tools are must-haves during the COVID-19 pandemic?
It’s a no-brainer that PPE is essential while seeing patients during this pandemic, but there is more you should be doing to keep your team safe. For starters, a face visor further reinforces the protective capabilities of your face masks and/or safety goggles. You should also install sneeze guards in high traffic areas and at service desks throughout your dispensary. Finally, breath shields for your slit lamp are a must-have.
How do I handle patients unwilling to wear masks, follow our COVID-19 protocols or are being overall difficult?
As either the owner of your optical business or as a key player in your dispensary, your patient’s and team’s health comes before anything else. If a patient is unwilling to wear a mask, let them know that you are stern in your decision of “no mask, no service” as you are following CDC guidelines. You can try to reason with your patient by reminding them that you are wearing a mask to keep them safe and that you would prefer the same courtesy. If your patients are unwilling to follow your rules, it is time to move away from that doctor-patient relationship.
I have not re-opened yet. How’s business for ECPs that have re-opened?
Since most optical practices are operating at 25% or 50% of capacity, days are long and slow. As you can imagine, sanitizing surfaces after every patient is exhausting. Some optical business owners informed us that cleaning is tiresome at first, but as your team gets a hang of it, the process becomes quicker and smoother. There seem to be many unforeseen kinks in safety protocols and disinfecting processes for many optical business owners; however, these can be identified and solved fairly quickly. Some of the optometrists we are in touch with recommend offering trainings and advice on stress management for your staff so they don’t get overwhelmed by added daily COVID-related tasks.
We know that you must-have hundreds of questions regarding re-opening, and this just scratches the surface. If you need further guidance on re-opening your optical business, you can find our FREE Re-Opening Guide for the Optical Industry here!
Please note all of the advice in this article are suggestions only. We recommend that you follow the W.H.O. and the CDC closely to implement their recommendations.
Frame Displays provides optometrists, opticians, ophthalmologists and eyewear shops with Space Planning and Design services while also providing popular Optical Furniture choices. If your space is poorly designed or your furniture is outdated, you could be bleeding sales rapidly. We offer high quality optical furniture faster than others, and we do it at DIY prices. Contact us for a free consultation at1-877-274-9300 or contact us here.