HEA has re-opened all health care services. We have resumed all clinical, optical and surgical care with enhanced patient safety guidelines around Covid-19. As a patient, we want you to be comfortable when visiting all HEA facilities.
Below are some recommendations to help guide you as you consider seeking care at HEA and what should you expect when you come.
Do Not Postpone Necessary Care. Some patients have been delaying care for decreased vision, or other eye issues. Do NOT postpone care that is necessary or it may lead to complications that may require surgical intervention or lead to loss of vision. Do NOT postpone necessary preventive care such as diabetes screening or glaucoma follow up exams.
Is It Safe to Go to Your Doctor? If you are hesitant, call us to talk with our staff about our clinics and the precautions we put in place to keep patients safe. HEA providers implemented preventative measures to care for you safely. We follow CDC, OSHA, local officials and Texas Medical Association’s recommendations and have established special procedures for cleaning and disinfecting exam rooms, equipment, diagnostic equipment, shared items and devices. We rearranged waiting rooms, our physicians and staff wear masks while at work and other personal protective equipment when indicated. We have easily accessible hand washing areas and available hand sanitizers. We are taking all other appropriate precautions to ensure that care is as safe as possible for all our patients.
Consider Telehealth or Virtual Visits. HEA patients may receive certain care by “telehealth” – audio or audio/visual care via your phone or computer. This reduces the risk of transmission of the virus. If you still feel uncomfortable visiting our facilities, call us to discuss if telehealth is a good option for you.
What to Expect When You Visit an HEA Facility? To prevent you from getting Covid-19, or giving it to others, you will be asked to do the following:
- Wear a face covering. A facemask helps limit your risk of getting or spreading disease. Everyone over the age of three should also wear a face covering (facemask).
- Limit visitors or people who go to your appointment with you. By limiting the number of people in the buildings we can practice better social distancing. If you need assistance coming to your visit, try to limit people who accompany you to ONE person.Screening before entering a facility. You and your visitors will have your temperature taken, and be asked to fill out a form with questions about your health status, before entering a clinic. This is to keep you and others safe.
- Avoid crowded waiting areas. Waiting rooms have chairs spaced apart to keep you and others safe. Sometimes you will be asked to wait in your car until your doctor is ready to see you.
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for 20 seconds, or use available hand sanitizer when washing your hands is not possible. You can bring your hand sanitizer if it makes you feel more comfortable.
Should you get tested for Covid-19 before seeking care? You are not required to get tested before coming for your appointment or surgery. In some cases, such as before certain surgeries, it may be necessary to be tested for Covid-19 and self-isolate prior to your surgery date to reduce the risk that you may have Covid-19. Your physician will let you know this is necessary. Some people have shown no symptoms of the disease but have been found to be carriers. If you ARE positive for Covid-19, your physician will discuss your options about the benefits of proceeding or temporarily postponing care.
Vulnerable Populations: When Possible, Stay Home. As much as possible, stay home, avoid crowds, and self-isolate. If you are at high risk for complications of Covid-19, it is especially important to stay away from others who may spread it to you. When out in public, wear a face covering, be sure to practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others and use hand sanitizer.
HEA doctors’ offices, surgery centers and optical services at all sites are opened with all precautions to ensure your care is safe and that you are protected. HEA patients should have confidence in seeking care, and trust that HEA providers are doing their best to keep you, your family, and our community safe and healthy.