From Necessity Comes Invention
Virtual visits, home testing, revised protocols – there are plenty of creative ways you can continue caring for patients
Rishi Singh | | Opinion
COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation – and our practices are having to evolve with it. Initially, when recommendations were first presented, we thought we’d have to reduce our clinical volume and maybe defer some appointments. Then the American Academy of Ophthalmology released a statement asking us to defer elective surgery all together to conserve personal protective equipment.
The only service still operating is glaucoma and retina. We are seeing patients with retinal detachments, proliferative diabetics, glaucoma patients who are uncontrolled and can’t be managed, patients with neovascular AMD or retinal vein occlusion where vision loss is pretty significant, but little beyond that. All other services have been shelved.
The Cleveland Clinic is a tertiary care referral center, which means we’re still operating pretty frequently as we receive patients from other ophthalmology offices that have had to close. In terms of retina, clinic volume is down, as is our surgical volume, but not by as much as I would have imagined – in part due to the nature of our practice, but also the nature of the providers in our region.
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