Dear patients, families and friends:
We at Ellis Eye & Laser Medical Center continue to follow the Coronavirus pandemic closely. It has become clear to us that, to protect our patients and our ability to continue to care for them in a safe and uninterrupted manner during this crisis, we must continue to make significant changes to how we operate our offices.
The main goal is to decrease the risk of infection to our patients.
The secondary goal is to protect our staff, not only for their safety, but also to maintain our ability to continue to provide care to patients in need during the epidemic.
Obviously, if a significant number of physicians and staff are ill or quarantined, we would need to close offices and limit the ability to provide care for those in need.
In order to achieve these goals, we are implementing the following measures:
- We are cancelling all non-critical/non-urgent and routine follow up visits, and will be rescheduling them once it is safe to do so.
- Patient Counselors will reach out to all cancelled patients to make sure there are no issues, and to ensure you have your medications if needed.
- We are keeping all our offices open for as long as we have adequate staff.
- We are extending office and infusion hours to decrease the number of patients in the office and in the surgery center rooms at any given time to allow for social distancing and decrease risk of viral transmission. Our new office hours are 8 am to 5 pm.
- We will be calling patients in advance to their visits to screen patients who could potentially be infected and manage them over the phone, and requesting them not to come into the office. Patients felt to be at risk will be interviewed by a physician over the phone to decide on next steps.
- All staff will be wearing surgical masks to decrease the risk of cross contamination.
- We have upgraded our procedures for cleaning all exam and surgery or consult rooms.
- Our doctors will be seeing patients at each office.
- At this point, we plan to maintain intense contact with our patients over the phone. We are investigating alternatives to provide formal telemedicine in the near future.
As we strive to continue to provide the best care during this time of crisis, we appreciate your understanding and patience. Obviously, viral transmission can occur anywhere, and we remind everyone to continue to wash hands carefully, practice social distancing, and avoid gatherings until the epidemic is controlled.
William Ellis, MD, F.A.C.S
Medical Center – Eye Center of Northern California.