Implementation of Novel Protocols in an Ophthalmic Ambulatory Surgical Center to Resume Surgical Procedures during COVID-19

Meghan K. Berkenstock, Lisa Ishii, Brian Giessler, John Quaty, Madalyn Biggs, Pamela Buck, Alfred Ebrado, Laurie Kalendek, Karen Lazoff, Michael Martin, Chanda McCullough, Henry Jampel, Adrienne W. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: With the resumption of elective ophthalmic surgery during COVID-19, revised protocols were mandated to protect both staff and patients from transmission while increasing case numbers. We discuss a widely generalizable and in-depth protocol intended to safely allow the restart of elective procedures in 2 dedicated ophthalmic ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) using monitored anesthesia care. Methods: A single-center review of protocols and practices designed to limit COVID-19 transmission. Results: All patients were tested within 72 hours prior to the procedure with a COVID-19 nasal swab to assess for active disease. A distance of 6 ft between each stretcher and the staff within the ASC was maintained when possible. Preoperative anesthetizing and dilating eye drops were administered from multiuse bottles without contact with surfaces. Surgical cases were restarted at a reduced capacity of a maximum of 7 per day to distance patient arrivals. Removal of waiting room chairs and the creation of new break areas allowed for social distancing. Conclusion: As recommendations change on the basis of an increased understanding of the COVID-19 virus, ophthalmologists and ASC staff need to tailor protocols and workflows to limit transmission of virus with resumption of ocular surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-73
Number of pages5
JournalQuality management in health care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • COVID-19
  • ambulatory surgical center
  • ophthalmic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning


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