The American Optometric Association (AOA) supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) patient care guidance issued on March 17 and the efforts of state and local authorities as well as state boards of optometry to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Also, of critical importance are immediate efforts to assure access to essential health care, including urgent and emergent care provided by doctors of optometry, which can alleviate burdens on emergency departments.
Doctors of optometry are frontline providers of essential care. Urgent care is defined as medical care provided for illnesses or injuries that require prompt attention but are typically not serious enough to require emergency room services. Emergent care is defined as medical care for conditions requiring prompt medical attention due to a sudden change in the eye or visual health. Based on the immediate health needs of a patient, doctors of optometry can and should use their professional judgment to determine the timing and course of care, including assessing patient-expressed urgency, necessary preventative care and the monitoring and refilling of prescriptions.
Beginning Monday, 3/23/20, the following changes will be put in place in order to minimize the exposure of both the patients and staff while still providing the community with essential eye care.
We will see urgent and emergent patients only – Our staff will contact patients scheduled within the next 2 weeks and reschedule those who need routine eye care. Those patients needing urgent or emergent care will be scheduled.
Enhanced Cleanliness – Along with our recently enhanced cleaning procedures, we have removed all unnecessary items from countertops and other areas around the practice, including our coffee service area and waiting area materials. We are taking additional steps to sanitize more frequently.
Your Appointment – If you do have an appointment scheduled, we ask that you call us when you arrive and wait in your car. When we are ready for you, we will call you to come inside. Please leave anyone with you in the car, unless you require assistance.
Pick ups – If you are picking up glasses or contacts, please call us when you arrive and wait in your car. We can take your payment over the phone, if any is needed, and we will bring your eyewear to you.
As you know, things are rapidly changing, and we want to do what’s best for our patients and staff. Thank you again for your trust in us during these challenging times. We will send updates as the situation evolves.
For the latest information from the CDC, click here.
Thank you and stay safe,
Dr. Heath Bullard and the Vision Team
Cleburne & Family Eye Clinics