May 14, 2020
Sixty-four percent of respondents to the Wave 9 Jobson Optical Research poll say they have reopened. Of those who are currently open, 33 percent said they’ve been open for more than a month; 34 percent said they’ve been open less than one week and 29 percent said they’ve been open for one-to-two weeks.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Among those who have reopened, 47 percent say they have resumed normal hours of operation. Forty-four percent are working fewer hours, while 6 percent have expanded hours to address the demand or keep the office less crowded. Three percent of those who have reopened are seeing emergency patients only.
New COVID-19 ECP Impact Findings
Patient volume is down as expected. Wave 9 respondents said that pre-COVID, their practices were seeing 28.5 patients per day on average. Those who are open currently say they are seeing 14.5 patients per day on average. Those who are still closed anticipate seeing 12.1 patients per day on average.
Among those who are not open, 48 percent anticipate rescheduling appointments for June, while 37 percent anticipate being able to schedule appointments in May.
Generally, patients are willing to reschedule with 33 percent of respondents saying that patients are eager to reschedule, and 58 percent saying that patients are willing to reschedule if they are comfortable with the safety precautions in place.
The wave 9 survey, which was open May 8-12, asked whether patient demand was as expected. Forty-nine percent said it is as expected with 26 percent each saying it’s higher or lower than expected.
CHANGES IN PROTOCOL
Wave 9 respondents who are open said that these are the primary protocol changes that they’ve made:
• Clean each frame after patient try-on – 94 percent
• Change sanitization process throughout office – 94 percent
• Disinfect optical counters/mirrors/dispensary area after each visitor – 91 percent
• Reduce number of people in the office at the same time – 91 percent
• Ask patients screening questions/take temperature – 89 percent
• Install slit lamp breath shield – 85 percent
ENGAGEMENT WITH INDUSTRY
Telephone calls are the preferred way that respondents want to deal with sale reps over the next few months. The wave 9 survey showed continuing hesitation about traveling to industry events and meetings throughout much of this year.
This wave of the survey showed a drop in employees who have been laid off at 54 percent. That is a drop from the wave 6 results from mid-April that showed 61 percent of respondents who said staff had been let go. Forty-four percent of respondents said that they have already rehired staff, and forty-six percent said that they plan to.
The majority, 69 percent, said that they plan to rehire all of their laid off staff members.
The wave 9 of results show the highest percentage yet, 35 percent, of those respondents who already started to offer telemedicine services. A large majority (88 percent among those not yet reopened, and 90 percent among those who have reopened) that are offering telemedicine services said that they plan to continue.