The majority of participants to a recent Women In Optometry Pop-Up Poll said that they are routinely taking steps to prevent the spread of viruses. Wiping down equipment and armrests [97 percent] and hand washing before every exam [91 percent] were the most popular protocols put in place. Another 52 percent said that they avoid shaking hands with patients, and 51 percent spray disinfectant. Thirty-two percent of patients say that they dismiss sick patients, and 14 percent wear gloves. Twenty-three percent of offices mentioned that they have extra precautions in place for pregnant doctors or staff members.
Overall, the personal concern about coronavirus among respondents to the poll was lower than their concerns about the flu and colds. Forty-one percent were not concerned about coronavirus, 33 percent were concerned and 26 percent had high concern. When asked to rate their level of concern about the flu, just 15 percent had no concern, 50 percent were concerned and 35 percent were very concerned.
Several respondents shared their disease prevention policies from frequent hand washing to setting up hand sanitizer stations throughout the office for patients and staff. Others are revisiting the way they handle such cases in response to coronavirus. One poll participant said: If a patient is visibly sick they get two options—reschedule when well or wear mask and gloves while in office.