Optos explores challenges of returning to practice

A poll by the company found almost three quarters of eye care professionals have found it challenging to implement new practice protocols and communicate changes to patients

A recent survey by Optos explored the challenges eye care professionals have faced in returning to practice, implementing the necessary protocols post-COVID and communicating those changes to patients.

Almost three quarters (74%) of those surveyed reported finding it challenging to implement new practice protocols and communicate those changes to patients.

The survey also found that 72% of respondents found it challenging to communicate changes to regular eye examinations to patients.

Further to changes that practices must juggle, more than half (56%) of those polled reported that their patients had expressed concerns over the health and safety measures being introduced, while 65% said staff had expressed similar worries about returning to work.

Gareth Steer, vice president of sales, Optos Europe, commented: “We are seeing that eye care experts are facing challenges related to new essential protocols as they work to adapt to their new environment.

“It’s critical that we come together to support practices on the frontline, as they get back on their feet, so that they can continue to provide the best possible eye care for their patients,” Mr Steer added. He suggested that, for Optos, support has included sharing guidance with customers on effective methods of disinfecting and cleaning devices and sharing regular updates on best practise.

The survey was completed as part of an ongoing discussion, ‘Get Back to Business: Move Your Practice Forward’, hosted by Optos and featuring guest speakers from independent optical practices.

More than three quarters of those surveyed agreed that having specialist equipment was beneficial in supporting the measures. Optos highlighted its ultra-widefield technology as having supported optometrists in capturing images while remaining at a safe distance.

Guest speaker, Brian Tompkins, owner and lead optometrist of TK&S Optometrists in Northampton, shared: “It’s natural that patients, and even some professionals in the sector, feel a bit apprehensive.”

“There’s a long road ahead until we’re completely back to normal but, for now, we need to concentrate on gaining back the full confidence of our teams and customers,” Mr Tompkins acknowledged.

He added: “I’d encourage anyone who is finding the changes challenging, to seek guidance and support from their colleagues and partners in the industry, as we all try to find the best ways of dealing with these extremely unusual circumstances.”