It’s natural for patients, and even some eyecare professionals to feel a bit apprehensive about returning to practices and adapting to new changes.
This is why we’ve been working hard to help our customers get back to business in the safest way possible while providing guidance and support to help them reassure their patients and staff. It’s critical we come together to support practices on the frontline, as they get back on their feet and also prepare for any potential future disruption.
To get to the root of the challenges being experienced, we surveyed some of our colleagues and customers in the eyecare industry.
Our recent “Get Back to Business: Move Your Practice Forward” online event involved the polling of eye experts before the discussion took place around best practice in this new working environment. We had Sharon Ormonde, Optos Sales Director, Northern Europe, as the host alongside guest speakers, independent optometrists Brian Tompkins, Ian Jarvis, and Faye McDearmid.
The results of the polling showed us that 74% of professionals have found it challenging to implement new practice protocols and communicate the changes to their patients. It also highlighted that 72% of optometrists and ophthalmologists found it challenging to communicate changes to regular eye examinations to their patients.
Alongside this, more than half (56%) of the surveyed specialists said their patients had expressed concerns over the health and safety measures being introduced, while almost two thirds (65%) of staff expressed similar worries about returning to work. To help alleviate these worries, we’re continually updating and sharing guidance with our customers on the most effective methods of disinfecting and cleaning devices. This helps provide practices with the tools needed to keep everyone safe while keeping businesses open.
Above creating a safe clinical environment, we know from speaking to our customers that introducing certain types of technology is a huge help when adapting to this “new normal”. More than three-quarters of the professionals polled found that having specialist equipment, including the Optos ultra-widefield technology (UWFTM), was beneficial in supporting the introduction of new safety measures.
For example, using UWF provides the examiner with a great view of the eye, while being able to maintain a safe distance from patients. optomap imaging also provides an overview of approximately 200° of the retina in a single capture making it easier to identify any potential problems or diseases.
A patient is also able to see the image of their eye, from a safe distance, so they know exactly what is being discussed during their examination. Using this technology allows for exams to be quick, easy, and provide added reassurance to everyone that they are adhering to current safety guidelines while still receiving, and providing, the best possible eyecare.
We’re in constant communication with our customers but there’s no doubt there’s a long road ahead until we’re all 100% comfortable with the new practice environment. For now, we need to concentrate on gaining back the confidence of staff and patients and work together to find the best ways of dealing with these extremely unusual circumstances.