COVID-19 Status Update: Week of May 4th, 2020
Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona announced an executive order stating that “all non-essential or elective surgeries, including elective dental surgeries that utilize personal protective equipment or ventilators shall not be performed at any licensed healthcare facility or by any licensed healthcare provider in the State of Arizona.” In response to Governor Ducey’s order as well as the guidance provided by our local, state and federal authorities and many national medical associations, Swagel Wootton Eye Institute closed all practice locations and canceled all elective surgical procedures, with the exception of urgent and emergent cases, in order to limit the number of patient, doctor, and staff interactions and to do our part in slowing the spread of the novel COVID-19 virus.
During this time of closure, our medical directors and leadership teams have continued to monitor both national and local guidelines to ensure the safety of our patients and employees, and also to guide our operational decisions. On April 22, Governor Ducey announced executive order: 2020-32, requesting exemption from the previous executive order 2020-10 limiting elective surgeries. During the week of April 26th, updated guidance from the White House along with Governor Ducey’s executive order 2020-33 permitting the Limited Recommencement of Voluntary or Elective Surgeries and Procedures in Arizona (issued on Wednesday April 29) have provided our Physician Advisory Board with the necessary and valuable information to lead to the following statement:
The medical leadership team at Swagel Wootton Eye Institute currently anticipates that we will begin seeing a limited number of appointment types at select locations beginning Monday May 4, 2020.
We will be abiding by all rules and regulations of our local and federal government, as well as taking the following additional precautions in order to maintain the safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff:
- Appointment Types:
• Appointment types will include: Cataract evaluations and consultations, medical evaluations for patients experiencing visual or ocular discomfort, post-ops, glaucoma evaluations and testing (HVF/OCT/TCK), LASIK evaluations, YAG laser procedures.
• Appointments will be limited to 3 per hour, per doctor, spaced 20 minutes apart
Check In/Appointments: Mandatory Precautions
• A member of our staff will escort you into the clinic.
• Upon entry to our offices, all patients and staff who enter the building are required to wash/sanitize their hands thoroughly. Our offices have ready access to hand sanitizers for the frequent use of patients, office staff, and mandatory caregivers.
• Once inside the clinic, a staff member will escort you through the entire process of your visit. If you need to use the restroom, please do so at the beginning of your visit.
• Temperature checks for both patients and employees will be taken at the door upon entry. Any patient with a temperature of 99.5 F or above will need to reschedule their appointment. Any staff member with a temperature of 99.5 F or above will be sent home.
• Patients and employees must wear a mask or face covering at all times, no exceptions.
• No guests will be allowed to accompany patients during their appointment unless the patient needs specific assistance. We ask that any guest please wait in their vehicle.
• Our waiting areas and check in/out have been arranged to allow for social distancing.
• At the end of your doctor’s visit, one of our staff members will schedule any follow up visits with your doctor in your clinic room, then escort you out of the clinic.
- Patient screening
We are screening all patients to check for history and symptoms that might indicate the presence of COVID-19. This is occurring both through our phone representatives when a patient calls to schedule an appointment and when the patient checks-in at our front desk on their date of service.
- Check in Symptomatic Screening: Procedure & Reschedule
All patients will be required to verify, and will be screened upon check in, that they have been symptom free for the past 14 days. Any patient who has experienced symptoms associated with COVID-19 within the past 14 days will be required to reschedule their appointment and urged to stay home to prevent possible virus spread. Symptoms to watch for, and included in our check in screening: cough, fever, and shortness of breath. If you are unsure, reschedule.
- Medical Staff: Additional Training & Protocol
All members of our medical staff have received additional briefing, training, and implemented protocols per the CDC and WHO. Our staff has access to proper supplies to provide maximum safety to our patients including masks, gloves, sanitizer, and are allowing extra time in clinic schedules to ensure protocols are followed safely and effectively.
- Office Cleaning: Virus Killing Sanitation
• Each area, including the waiting room, the testing room, and the clinic rooms will be sanitized between each patient.
• In addition, throughout the day, our office is being cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected. Frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, countertops, payment processing points, are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized on a regular schedule. We are following Center for Disease Control guidance, using cleaning products designed to kill virus germs.
Resources – What Can Patients Do?
The medical leadership team at Swagel Wootton Eye Institute will closely monitor scheduling and patient flow and make adjustments as needed. Creating a safe environment for our patients and employees is our top priority now and always. We look forward to continuing to provide the exceptional care and service that our patients and our partners expect from Swagel Wootton Eye Institute.
State of Arizona COVID-19 Resources:
State of Arizona Executive Orders:
Center for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Resources:
World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Resources: