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    Is your clinic prepared for the next natural disaster?

     

    Amina Malik MD mans one of the slit lamps at the George R. Brown Convention Center makeshift eye clinic. (Photo courtesy of Hiliary A. Beaver, MD)The DRP pre-planning allowed us to provide emergency eye care as soon as the general clinics opened (infections, angle-closure glaucoma, postops, etc.) and rapidly ramp up to provide full eye services including 5 lanes for refraction, more than 2,000 new frames for custom glasses fitting, slit lamps, auto refractors, tonometers, and indirect ophthalmoscopes.

    Shelter eye clinics operated seven days a week through Sept. 20. Mobile eye vans from Envolve and VSP also brought outstanding optometric care with the advantages of convenient setup, secure control of equipment, and the flexibility to move where needed. Staffing was organized online with Signup Genius in four-hour blocks, each containing workers with complementary skill sets. 

    Members of the Houston Ophthalmological Society, volunteers from private practice, and all of our academic medical center partners participated (University of Texas Medical Branch, University of Texas Houston, University of Houston College of Optometry, Texas A and M College of Medicine, and Baylor College of Medicine). Ophthalmologists from San Antonio, and volunteers from as far as Philadelphia and Los Angeles came to help. Prevent Blindness Texas was the key screening partner. By coordinating with the Harrris County Hospital District and area optometrists and ophthalmologists, each patient was provided with a medical home for extended care outside the shelter.

    The eye clinics provided examinations for 1,649 patients onsite. Glaucoma and postoperative patients received a 3-month supply of drops. More than 1,000 patients triaged as low risk were given readers with a voucher for offsite complete eye examination, or a voucher for examination and glasses.

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