Dear Valued Patient,
We hope you and your family have been safe during this unprecedented time. We are pleased to announce that we will be re-opening for routine vision care beginning June 1st, and will have a soft re-opening these next two weeks. We are in the process of reaching out to those of you whose appointments were cancelled during the Shelter-in-Place mandate. It is our intention to contact everyone in the order in which they were originally scheduled. In addition, we have put in place very stringent safety protocols to assure your visits can be made in confidence.
I. Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. Our commitment to your safety has always been our top priority. We want to inform you of our modified procedures:
a) Appointment confirmation. At least two (2) days prior to your scheduled appointment, we will contact you to confirm your appointment. We ask that you go to our website in advance and click on the Patient Portal link to fill out the registration forms. Please print, sign, and bring only the HIPAA form with you. In addition, we will ask you to fill out a Wellness Form before coming to your appointment and text or email the front and back side of your medical card to us. If you need assistance or do not have access to our website, please let us know.
b) Check-in. There is a sign on our door that will remind you to please call or text us when you arrive in our parking lot. We will reply back to let you know when we are ready for you. This will minimize your wait time in the waiting area. Upon entering, please be aware of the stickers on the ground that will guide your distance of 6 feet. You will be greeted by a technician who will check your temperature with a non-contact forehead thermometer. Be advised, anyone (including children) with a fever or displaying signs of illness will not be seen and their appointment must be rescheduled. Once checked-in, all patients will be required to either use the hand sanitizer provided at the front desk, or wash their hands for 20 seconds in the restroom prior to their appointment. As such, we have asked our staff not to greet any patients with a handshake. We will also no longer carry magazines, bottles of water, or children’s toys in the waiting area so as to minimize any chance of contamination or the spread of the virus.
Restrooms. We are asking that all patients wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon arrival. Therefore, the restroom will be closed to any public use other than for required hand-washing. For this reason, it is important to use the restroom at home prior to coming to your appointment. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.
c) Check-out. There is a card reader for you to insert your own credit card. The terminal will be sanitized between every usage. During this pandemic, cash will not be accepted.
II. Rest assured we are following the guidelines and recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American Optometric Association (AOA), and the California Optometric Association (COA). As the landscape of this crisis is constantly changing, our practices may need to adapt, especially if additional guidance is received. Therefore, we are doing the following to minimize exposure to patients and our staff:
a) Occupancy limitations. In an effort to reduce the number of patients in the reception area and optical, please do not bring anyone else to your appointment unless they are scheduled as well. Senior citizens requiring assistance or minors who require supervision are permitted to have one family member or caretaker accompanying them.
b) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Everyone entering the office is required to wear a face mask that covers both the mouth and nose at all times, except children under 12 years of age. Everyone working at our office will be wearing a face mask as well. Furthermore, all of our staff will be participating in daily protocols, including hand sanitizing upon arrival and between patient interactions, and temperature monitoring. We have also taken it a step further and are in the process of installing air purifiers with medical grade HEPA filters.
c) Additional protective equipment. There are now plexiglass protective shields at the front desk and optical stations for your enhanced safety. The instruments in each exam room are equipped with shields to further protect everyone during the exam process.
d) Exam room and equipment sanitization. All staff are aware of our procedures to disinfect all exam rooms, surfaces, equipment and instruments. Anything that has been handled, even office pens, will be sanitized.
III. For services other than exams:
a) Frame Selection. We want to make your frame selection experience healthy and safe. We are asking patients not to browse on their own. An optician will help select your desired frames off of the display, and will retain any frames that have been touched. The frames will be completely sanitized before placing them back on display.
b) Non-exam visits. If you need to select frames, need a repair or adjustment, or need to pick up glasses or contact lenses that were ordered, please contact us for an appointment. We are limiting the number of people in our office, so our staff will schedule the best time to take care of your needs. If you prefer ‘curbside pick-up’, call us to make those arrangements. We ask that you call or text upon arrival so we can bring your item(s) out to you.
c) Telemedicine visits. We will offer the option of telemedicine visits if needed. This will give us another avenue to communicate with those of you who need our services, especially those at high risk and unable to leave home. However, we are unable to perform a full eye exam or detect a retinal detachment via telemedicine. Please call us to see if this is a viable option for your vision care needs, and if this is a covered benefit by your medical insurance provider.
Thank you for your patience, flexibility, and loyalty during these past two months. We look forward to welcoming you back. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 925-275-0202 should you have any questions or concerns. We will have staff answering your phone calls from 9-1pm Monday-Friday beginning this week, and then all day during business hours beginning June 1st. As excited as we are to open and service you again, know that we are proceeding with an abundance of care and caution on your behalf as your health and well-being will always be our number one concern.
San Ramon Family Optometry