COVID-19 Office Policy for ULTIMATE EYECARE SANTA FE
March 27, 2020
Screening of patients:
All patients will be screened by our medical and non-medical support staff through electronic or telephonic means prior to coming to our clinic in order to determine the urgency of their medical condition, to assess their current means of visual correction, and to assess any risks posed to other patients or our staff based on the patients’ possible exposure to COVID-19. This screening will include:
- Identifying any patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Any patients suspected of exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be told to immediately call the New Mexico Coronavirus Hotline at 1-855-600-3453.
- Identifying any patients that have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, or who has traveled outside the state of New Mexico within the previous 14 days.
- Identifying any visual, eye, or systemic symptoms the patient is currently experiencing.
- Identifying the patient’s current means of visual correction, and whether this correction is required to maintain a driver’s license or to safely perform functions required by the patient’s job or daily activities.
Based on this screening we will determine if the patient needs to be evaluated in-person within the next three months (the condition is “urgent”), the patient’s visit can be postponed beyond three months, the patient’s condition can be managed remotely through telehealth, or the patient requires an immediate referral to another health care provider.
Although not exhaustive or completely inclusive, the following is a list of ocular symptoms/conditions that may indicate the presence of a condition that poses an “urgent” or permanent threat to eye health, vision, or life:
- Recent eye or head trauma
- Pain or burning in or around the eye or surrounding tissue
- Blurry/dim/cloudy vision or significant eyestrain
- Visual distortion
- Eye redness or dryness
- Feeling of pressure in the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Night blindness
- Any change in depth perception
- Visual auras or scintillations
- Eyelid swelling or redness
- Eyelid twitching
- Excessive blinking
- Excessive eye rubbing
- New bumps or lesions in or around the eye
- Eyelid crusting or loss of eyelashes
- Eyelids sticking together
- Watery or mucous discharge from the eyes
- Acute or gradual vision changes, with or without pain
- Halos around lights
- Changes in color vision
- Double vision
- Loss of focus or slow focus recovery
- Difficulty adapting to changes in available light
- Dizziness, loss of coordination, or motion sickness
- Eye turning in, out, or up
- Lagging or “drooping” of the eyelid(s)
- Pain on eye movement
- Flashes of light or floater spots in vision
- Any loss of peripheral vision
- Any additional ocular or visual symptom that may indicate a serious or life-threatening condition
- Any systemic symptom that may indicate a serious life- or vision-threatening condition
- Post-operative care for a patient with previous surgical procedure
- Pre-operative care for a scheduled non-elective surgical procedure
- Any systemic or ocular condition that requires a medical eye health evaluation within the next three months for surveillance based on evidence-based clinical guidelines or generally-accepted standard of care (such as glaucoma, macular pathology, cataracts, and diabetes), or any procedure to monitor dangerous ocular or systemic side-effects of medications that cannot be postponed for three months
- No current means of vision correction required to safely operate a motor vehicle, or to safely perform daily/occupational tasks
Our staff physicians will assist in the determination of medical “urgency” if there is any uncertainty during this screening process.
Services generally deemed “Essential,” OR which do not require in-person care:
- In-person medical eye health evaluations and diagnostic procedures to assess/treat patients exhibiting the above symptoms/conditions if it is determined, based on the clinical judgement of our staff physicians, that such evaluations and diagnostic procedures cannot be delayed for three (3) months or longer without undue risk to the patient’s health, or without undue risk the patient’s ability to safely perform occupational or daily functions.
- Follow-up evaluations or procedures for any ongoing ocular conditions that cannot be delayed 3 months without undo risk to the patient’s health if left untreated.
- Surgical procedures required to treat any condition that poses an urgent threat to ocular health or function within the next three months.
- Provision of eyeglasses or contact lenses if the patient does not currently have adequate vision correction to meet the vision standards established by the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division, and the patient is responsible for providing transportation to himself/herself or others.
- Provision of eyeglasses or contact lenses if the patient does not currently have adequate vision correction to safely perform occupational or daily functions.
- Provision of updated eyeglasses or contact lenses if the patient’s current mode of vision correction is causing significant headaches, eyestrain, or discomfort; or if the patient’s current mode of vision correction is unserviceable.
- Provision of safety eyewear if required by the patient’s employer or occupation.
- Any telehealth procedure performed by electronic or telephonic means.
- Refills of medication prescriptions by phone, email, or fax.
- Referrals to other health care providers.
- Shipping of eyewear or contact lenses to a patient’s home or business.
Services generally deemed as “Non-Essential:”
- Routine comprehensive eye exams when the patient has no visual complaints with their current means of visual correction.
- Any diagnostic or surgical procedure that may be postponed for three months or longer without risk to ocular or systemic health. This determination will be founded on the clinical judgement of our staff physicians and made on a case-by-case basis.
- New contact lens fitting services if the patient has other means of adequate visual correction.
- Adjustment of eyeglasses if the current fit of the patient’s glasses is not causing any pain or visual discomfort.
- Repair of eyeglasses unless the eyeglasses are non-functioning and are the patient’s only means of visual correction.