Reflect government’s COVID-19 guidelines as well as those of the WHO and CDC
Global NGO Orbis and healthcare accreditation body Quality & Accreditation Institute (QAI) released a comprehensive set of guidelines for ophthalmology hospitals/clinics in India on November 12 to mark World Quality Day.
The resource titled, “Comprehensive Guidelines For OPD/ IPD Services in Ophthalmology Hospitals/Clinics Under New Normal: Living with Covid-19”, is a compilation of guidelines, advice and action plans to be followed in different areas of an ophthalmology hospital and clinic including outreach clinics/ vision centres in order to effectively function and contain the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, cause of COVID-19 disease.
However, the scope of the document is much larger and it can aid hospitals to take preventive measures towards cluster infections among other patient and staff safety measures.
The guidelines have been formulated by experts in ophthalmology and quality across the country and has been reviewed by Dr. Patanjali Dev Nayar, Regional Adviser; Disability & Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Department of Healthier Populations and Noncommunicable Diseases WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi, India apart from Centers of Excellence, namely, Aravind Eye Hospital, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS and Sankara Nethralaya.
Launching the guidelines, Chief Guest Dr Promila Gupta, Principal Consultant, Director General of Health Services (MoHFW), said, “As the health-care system is finally re-organising to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, it is important to align comprehensive eye care activities in line with the government’s COVID guidelines. The guidelines issued by Orbis and QAI for the eye healthcare professionals is a comprehensive and standard document to be followed to ensure the well-being and safety of patients, attendants and health care professionals.”
Hosted by Orbis and QAI, the launch event was attended by key persons in healthcare such as Dr Patanjali Dev Nayar, WHO-SEARO, Dr Peter Lachman, CEO ISQua, Dr BK Rana, CEO, QAI, Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director Orbis India, Arlene Lozano, Vice President, Project Development & Quality Assurance, Orbis International, Hunter Cherwek, Vice President, Clinical Services, Dr GN Rao, Founder, Chairman, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Dr RD Ravindran, Chairman, Aravind Eye Care System, Prof. Praveen Vashist, Officer In-charge, Community Ophthalmology, Dr RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, and Dr TS Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya among others.
Speaking about the guidelines, Dr Nayar said, “This document is an excellent compilation of best practices to contain the spread of COVID-19 in a healthcare facility in general and eye care facility in particular. These comprehensive set of guidelines, based on several references from across different national and international organisations including WHO, would support ophthalmology hospitals and clinics including outreach clinics/ vision centres in their functioning in a safer manner.”
Dr Borah said, “Patient and staff safety is primary and being able to deliver eye care services, eye health professionals need to ensure safety at various levels, especially during such a time. So, we thought of creating these guidelines with the help of experts in healthcare in our partner network and beyond. I believe the guidelines will be resourceful for not just our partner network but for any eye hospital or clinic and their outreach initiatives within the country.”
Dr Rana explained, “This document aims to provide hospitals with the latest guidelines that reflect existing government guidelines as well as the ones charted out by international healthcare organisations such as WHO and CDC.”