Dear Wichita Vision Institute Patients,
We want to reach out to you and let you all know how our office is responding to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Our office is currently remaining open to see patients that require in-person visits and time-sensitive care. However, we are rescheduling some patients that are considered at higher risk for the COVID-19 virus. While we understand your frustrations with possibly getting rescheduled, please know that the health and safety of our patients and staff is our highest concern during this difficult time.
PROTECTING OUR PATIENTS
We are currently utilizing the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) to help us navigate through this unprecedented outbreak. Beginning immediately, we have begun screening all patients with a series of questions prior to their appointment.
- If you are currently suffering from a fever or any upper respiratory or flu-like symptoms such as cough or sore throat, please do not come to our office, as we will be unable to see you unless you have received clearance from your primary care physician indicating those symptoms are not related to the coronavirus.
- If any of your family members or close contacts currently have or have recently had a fever or any flu-like or upper respiratory symptoms, such as cough or sore throat, we ask that you self-quarantine for 14 days from your last contact before visiting our office.
- If you have traveled outside of the United States or to any known outbreak areas in the last 14 days, we will be unable to see you before the conclusion of a 14 day self-quarantine period. This includes all hot spots within the United States as designated on the CDC website.
FURTHER MEASURES TO PROTECT YOUR HEALTH
We have implemented a new check-in system whereby our patients will be able to come into the office to check-in, provide us with their cell phone number and then return to their cars. Our staff will prepare for your visit and call you when we are ready to take you directly to an exam room to be seen. If you do not have a cell phone you will be allowed to wait in our waiting rooms, but we request that you practice social distancing and remain at least six feet apart from any other patients that may be present in the waiting area.
If you are scheduled for an appointment, please do not arrive more than 15 minutes early to your visit, as we will not be able to accommodate early check-in. If you need to bring someone along to your visit, please bring only one caregiver or additional person with you to your appointment.
In addition to our normal infection protocols, we will now be taking additional measures to clean rooms in between patient visits. We are limiting the movement of patients in our office and isolating patients to one room when possible. We have removed additional chairs and all magazines from all of our waiting areas. Through all of these changes, please know that we are grateful to have you as a patient!
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
First and foremost, remain calm and have patience as we work in an ever evolving “new normal” for patient care right now. If you are having any symptoms of a flu-like illness, including fever, cough or sore throat, we ask that you consider seeing your primary care physicians for a diagnosis and for your peace of mind; and by all means, stay home until you have either been cleared from a diagnosis of COVID-19 or until you are fully recovered.
Beyond this we need to take care of ourselves and each other by practicing the guidelines of the CDC for good hygiene, social distancing and infection control. Below is a link from the CDC website that may help you with some tips for taking care of yourself and other during this challenging time.
Thank you for your patience and support as we work together to not only protect ourselves from coronavirus, but to ensure that you are getting your needs met regarding your eye care. Please check back periodically on our website for more information on our response as well as information you can use to stay healthy!
Dr. Reena Patel and the Wichita Vision Institute staff