To safeguard visiting patients and the staff of the hospital we have taken the following actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A senior leadership task team was formed to develop the following protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and plan for handling ophthalmic emergencies and high risk patients.

Patient Examination Protocol
1. OPD Restricted for Emergency and High Risk Clinical Scenarios Only
In order to prevent COVID-19 dissemination, the hospital has suspended all routine eye clinic visits and has cancelled all elective ophthalmic surgeries. Only ocular emergency services are offered.

2. Temperature Check
Body temperature is checked using a Thermal Scanner for both patients and staff entering the hospital. If one is febrile (> 38 degrees Celsius), he or she will be referred to the nearest COVID19 nodal Centre ( Pondicherry GH).

3. Hand Sanitization
In order to ensure clean hygiene of patients and staff, a temporary hand wash area was built in front of the hospital entrance. All patients and staff are required to wash their hands before entering the hospital.

4. Reception and Preliminary Screening
A reception counter is set up in the main entrance where every patient undergoes a preliminary health screening and is dispensed hand sanitizer. A patient registration form is given along with a COVID-19 enquiry form which requires the following: upper respiratory symptoms, exposure risks, and contact information. Patients must enter alone and without accompaniment except for those that require supervision (e.g. vulnerable adults and/or
children). Bands are provided to patients for quick identification.

5. Registration and Screening Triage
The temporary registration desk is arranged at the entrance lobby after preliminary screening. Once registered, patients undergo a preliminary eye screening in which A new fully equipped triage area is setup in the entrance of the hospital to do the preliminary
eye screening and then patients are escorted accordingly. The Triage area was created with all safety precautions for both staff and patients. The staff posted in the triage examination area are provided with all required personal protective equipment (PPE).

6. Patient Flow Process Map
A Triage Process Map was developed for an efficient and expedited patient pathway. This process map is strictly followed in order to ensure appropriate care is delivered to all patients while still maintaining a safe environment.

7. Surgery and Admission
Only emergency clinical scenarios in which a delay in care would lead to immediate loss of vision are taken for surgical procedures.

A strict admission protocol was set based on input from the COIVD-19 Task force. Admitted patients are housed in single rooms as all common wards were closed. Patients are given strict admission guidelines to stay in the room. All surgical decisions and appropriate clinical staff are confirmed by the relevant Head of department (HOD).

8. Patient Reviews:
Short term reviews and close follow-ups are discouraged and patients are given additional drops to manage their conditions with appropriate precautions.

Download Online PDF Protocol  : COVID-19-Clinical-Protocols-AECS