If you are visiting your nearest eye hospitals or eye care centres for routine eye examinations or for emergency eye conditions, we think that you may feel nervous about going to your eye hospitals during this coronavirus pandemic time. To prevent transmitting of COVID-19 from eye hospitals all of the eye clinics, eye centres are following guidelines which may increase your waiting time at the hospital. These guidelines are made so that all the patients visiting hospital and staff working there are safe.
Following New Changes are seen on Eye Hospitals of Nepal:
1. Your Temperature will be measured at the eye hospital entrance gate to make sure you don’t have a fever, and if needed symptoms of COVID-19 and travel history will be asked by health workers at the entrance.
|Health Workers taking the history of symptoms of COVID-19 and Travel history.
2. Face masks are compulsory to visit eye hospitals of Nepal. If you don’t have a mask you have to buy and wear them.
|Chair marked with a cross symbol which denotes not to sit there, It helps to maintain a safe distance between patients.
3. At most, one visitor can come with patients. Visitors accompanying adult patients may be asked to wait in common waiting areas during appointments or procedures.
4. Slit Lamp (Eye Examination Machine) Breath shield has been installed for infection control measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Slit Lamp with protective Breath Shield
5. Eye Care Professionals will wear a mask and may wear gloves and goggles or a plastic shield over their eyes and in the emergency department; you will see eye care practitioners wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
|Refraction Service provided by Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology
6. Your doctor will not usually speak until after your eye exam is complete. Then they can talk with you and answer the question before or after eye exam when they are at safe distance from you. You may see a notice like this mentioning not to talk during eye examination on progress. Slit-lamp is disinfected between patients. Common areas are disinfected multiple times a day.
7. You have to maintain social distancing with other peoples while waiting for an eye check-up. Patient’s waiting chairs are specially marked to maintain specific distances which help to minimize COVID-19 transmission risks.
|Entrance queue of patient waiting for registration at Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology.
8. COVID-19 testing to patients with a scheduled surgery will help to limit the risk of exposure.,especially those with prolonged operating time and under general anesthesia. So some of the eye hospital may ask the patient to undergo for COVID-19 Test.
9. Operating room volume will be less due to strict measures followed for safety. There is the backlog of elective surgeries, so surgery appointment may be prioritized depending upon the level of risk, with the most urgent cases to be done first.
10. Some of the eye clinics of Nepal only accepting patient with an appointment, for that, you have to contact at eye clinics and take pre-appointment time, It helps to smooth eye examination for the patient without waiting and eye clinics will not have the crowd. Many of eye hospitals of Nepal now accepting Online appointment and Telephone appointment services.
|Maintaining distance at TIO’s Optical Shop
11. Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology has extended the General OPD registration time from 08:00 am to 02:00 pm and other hospitals also increased their regular OPD time to minimize the crowd.
TeleHealth in this pandemic.
Although it may take patients and healthcare providers some time to get accustomed to telehealth technology, it can be very effective in certain ways. “There are a number of concerns you can address over the phone. So we need to think about expanding telehealth in the field of eye care.
Photo Source: TIO Official Website
Dr Shyam Vyas, Ophthalmologist, Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology & Kiran Subedi, Incharge, Community Eye Centre, Swoyambhu