COVID-19 Updates

This page of the portal is meant to keep you informed and aware of recent changes we’ve made at each of our clinics in response to the rapidly developing landscape of COVID-19 across our region. We will continue to update our plans as new recommendations are made.

5/1/2020

Guidelines for Reopening and Patient FAQs :

 

 

5/1/2020

Join us Tuesday, May 5th, 12:00pm CT for a Webinar on Research

Perhaps now, more than ever, patients can benefit from access to emerging treatments and surgical procedures for little or no cost. This session will feature our doctors discussing the philosophy behind research at Vance Thompson Vision and the various clinical trials currently available to patients across our sites.

Click the link below to join this webinar:

https://zoom.us/j/95991615991

 

4/28/2020

Click HERE to watch a playback of the Q & A Session Webinar from 4-28-2020

4/24/2020

All Vance Thompson Vision Clinics Will Begin Seeing Routine Patients On Monday, April 27th, With Continued Cautionary Measures In Place

Effective Monday, April 27th, 2020, all Vance Thompson Vision clinics will begin phasing in routine patients to our clinics, with cautionary measures in place for patient & staff safety. We will continue to see urgent and emergent patients, in an effort to keep them out of ERs. Please reference the anticipated date for surgery to resume for each location below.  Details of the precautions we are taking, as well as additional re-opening strategy resources, webinar recordings, and helpful links can be found on this page.

Anticipated Date For Non-emergent Surgery To Resume (Dates Subject To Change):

Sioux Falls: 
Dr. Vance Thompson, MD – 5/11/2020
Dr. John Berdahl, MD – 4/27/2020

Fargo:   Dr. Michael Greenwood, MD – May 11, 2020

Bozeman:  Dr. Russell Swan, MD – Mid May (Date TBD)

Omaha: Dr. Brandon Baartman, MD – May 4, 2020

Alexandria: Dr. Deborah Ristvedt, DO – (Date TBD)

Billings:  Dr. Russell Swan, MD  -  May 4, 2020

 

Do You Have Questions for Us?

Join us Tuesday, April 28th, 12:00pm CT for an

Open Forum Q&A Webinar

The doctors and leadership from Vance Thompson Vision are available to answer your questions during this webinar!

Webinar Link:  https://zoom.us/j/98722166764

4/21/2020

Re-Open Strategies Resources and Helpful Links:

Click HERE to watch a playback of the Re-Opening Strategies Webinar from 4-21-2020

Resources to track your region:

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

https://coronavirus.1point3acres.com/en/test

https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america

Links for Making and Laundering Masks:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html

Guide for HCPs

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

Links for cleaning:

https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

https://www.cureuv.com/collections/handheld-sterilizers/products/germawayuv-18-watt-handheld-uvc-surface-sterilizer-w-amber-uv-glasses

 

4/20/2020

Join us Tuesday, April 21st, 12:00pm CT for a Webinar on

Re-Opening Strategies

This webinar will feature doctors and leadership from Vance Thompson Vision sharing the measures we’re taking, considerations we’re making to prepare our clinics for seeing patients beyond just urgent and emergent, and what the new normal (or near-term normal) in eye care may look like.

https://zoom.us/j/97386759027

4/16/2020

Looking for Staff Training Opportunities During Social Distancing? 

Join Us For Our Spring Tech Training Webinars!

Every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday April 20th – May 15th (Noon – 1:00 PM CT)

These Tech Training sessions will be presented by the doctors from Vance Thompson Vision and will follow the JCAHPO guidelines and is designed to enhance the clinical standards provided by all of our teams across the region.
These 1-hour webinar trainings will start promptly at Noon (CST) / 11:00 am (MT).

Tech Training Webinar Link:  https://zoom.us/j/97687628257

Date

Topic

Monday, April 20 @ Noon CT

Physiology and Anatomy of the Eye

Wednesday, April 22 @ Noon CT

Microbiology & Equipment Repair and Maintenance

Friday, April 24 @ Noon CT

Visual Assessment / Lensometry & Spectacle Skills

Monday, April 27 @ Noon CT

History Taking and Pupillary Assessment

Wednesday, April 29 @ Noon CT

Assisting in Surgical Procedures

Friday, May 1 @ Noon CT

Ophthalmic Imaging

Monday, May 4 @ Noon CT

Ocular Motilities

Wednesday, May 6 @ Noon CT

Ophthalmic Patient Services & Education

Friday, May 8 @ Noon CT

Visual Fields & Tonometry

Monday, May 11 @ Noon CT

Supplemental Skills

Wednesday, May 13 @ Noon CT

Keratometry & Contact Lenses

Friday, May 15 @ Noon CT

Pharmacology

                                                           12 Total JCAHPO and AOA credits available. (Registration Required)
(If you have already attended a Vision Foundation Fall Tech Training Series previously and received credit, you are unable to repeat this program and receive credit again as these are the same courses and same credits.) Email Jamie Andersen to register for credits or to answer any questions. [email protected]

4/15/2020

Join us Tuesday, April 21st, 12:00pm CT for a Webinar on

 

Re-Opening Strategies

 

This webinar will feature doctors and leadership from Vance Thompson Vision presenting on the measures we’re taking, considerations we’re making to prepare our clinics for seeing patients beyond just urgent and emergent, and what the new normal (or near-term normal) in eye care may look like.

https://zoom.us/j/97386759027

4/14/2020

To listen to the playback of the April 14th webinar on Telehealth Click HERE

4/13/2020

Join us Tuesday, April 14th, 1:00pm CT for a Webinar

 

Telehealth in Eye Care

 

This webinar will feature doctors and leadership from Vance Thompson Vision presenting on what we’ve learned about telehealth, what it can provide you and your patients during times of social distancing and why it may be here to stay.

https://zoom.us/j/925475245

 

To listen to the playback of the April 8th webinar on Navigating Practice Closures, Click HERE

4/7/2020

 

Join us Wednesday, April 8th, 12:00pm CT for a Webinar

 

Tools and Tricks for Keeping Your Team and Your Business Whole: Navigating Practice Closures Amid COVID-19

 

Bring your questions! This webinar will include a live Q & A session following a previously recorded webcast that features Vance Thompson Vision CEO Matt Jensen and BSM Consulting Executive Bruce Maller, discussing valuable information on government programs designed to help your business and your team remain whole during these times of practice closures, as well as ways in which you can engage and maintain a strong company culture while social distancing.

www.zoom.us/j/625565404

3/30/2020

Click HERE to watch a playback of our Town Hall Webinar from today. 

Useful Link for Telehealth: https://edit.cms.gov/files/document/medicare-telehealth-frequently-asked-questions-faqs-31720.pdf

3/29/2020

Join us on Monday, March 30th at 12:00pm CT for an informational webinar on what we're learning about COVID-19, government regulations, telehealth and more! 

https://zoom.us/j/303998030

3/28/2020

Hope you all are doing well and staying safe. Each day brings something new, and we wanted to update you on where we are today. 

SAVE THE DATE - March 30 Town Hall

We are planning on hosting a Town Hall meeting via Zoom on March 30.  This will be a chance for us to discuss with all of you what we have learned regarding changes to telemedicine, government laws, COVID-19, and anything else you want to talk about. More details will be sent out soon.

  

Clinics

Currently all of our locations are open to seeing urgent and emergent patients. We will also be seeing any Light Adjustable Lens and Research patients. This plan is in place for the week of March 30 - April 3, and we will update each week.

 

IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY PATIENT, please give us a call.  We would like to keep patients out of the Emergency Departments, so they do not risk being exposed to any infected persons, but also to allow our colleagues in the ED to focus on the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Surgery & Lasers

We have paused all elective laser & surgery cases.  We have reached out to all patients and have rescheduled for when we are able to resume our normal schedules. 

 

COVID-19 Updates

A recent paper was published that demonstrated the risk of transmission of the corona virus through tears was low. It is available online here https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2020.03.026

 

3/25/2020

We know these are unprecedented times and with that comes much anxiety over the unknown. We want to share what we have learned and what we are doing for our team, our patients, and for all of you.  We plan to send out regular communications regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and we hope you find them useful. We have paused all of our regular communications so as to not overload anyone during this time.  As you know, things are changing rapidly, and we are evaluating everything and taking it day by day.

We will be hosting interactive webinars to address these developments in the coming days and invite you to attend.  Details coming soon.

Please know that you can call our office or our doctors directly on their cell phones if you have any questions.

 

Clinics

Currently, all Vance Thompson Vision locations are open to seeing emergent and essential patients, which is any patient who could not wait to be seen for 30 days.  We will also be seeing any Light Adjustable Lens patients who still need adjustments and lock-ins. Research patients will also be seen during this time on a case by case basis.  This plan is in place for the week of March 23-27, although we expect it to extend beyond this time frame.  

 

IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY PATIENT, please give us a call.  We would like to keep patients out of the Emergency Departments, so they do not risk being exposed to any infected persons, and also to allow our colleagues in those critical departments to focus on the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Lasers

At this time, we have paused all elective laser cases.  We have reached out to all patients and have rescheduled for when we are able to resume our normal schedules. 

 

Surgery

Currently, all Vance Thompson Vision locations are open for urgent and emergent surgeries only. All elective cases have been rescheduled for when we are able to resume our normal schedules.

 

COVID-19 precautions

We encourage all of you to follow the CDC guidelines and recommendations for social distancing.  In our clinics, we have taken the following precautions.  

 

·      Prior to patients arriving, we call them to ensure they have no signs of cough, shortness of breath, fever, GI upset, or change to senses of taste or smell.  We also ask if they have had ANY travel, been exposed to anyone who has travelled, or around anyone who has been sick. If the answer to any of these is yes, we recommend they contact their primary healthcare provider.

 

·      Once patients arrive at the office, we ask the same questions as above, and also have one of our staff wearing a mask, gloves, and eye protection meet them at the door so they can take the patient temperature.  If they have a temperature over 100.0 °F (taken by temporal/forehead scanner), we ask that they contact their primary care provider. This includes their driver.

 

·      We have removed all magazines, snacks, coffee, etc. from the atrium area.  We only have 2 pens and clipboards available for patients and we clean them after each use.

 

·      All testing areas, exam rooms, and anything a patient may have touched are fully cleaned and wiped down with a virucidal disinfectant between patients.

 

·   When seeing patients, all staff and doctors are wearing gloves, eye protection, and masks.  This is above the CDC guidelines, but we feel it provides better protection than nothing. If a patient has a cough, we ask them to wear a mask as well.

 

3/20/2020

All Vance Thompson Vision Clinics Remain Open Only for Ocular Emergencies or Urgent Needs

Thank you for the trust you put in us to take care of your patients.  It’s an honor we don’t take for granted. 

Effective today March 20th, 2020, all Vance Thompson Vision clinics will be open only for ocular emergencies and urgent needs.  We will continue to update our plans as new information is available.

If you should have any questions, medical emergencies or patient concerns, please contact our office or reach out to the doctors directly on their cell phones. 

We will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation and take necessary steps to help protect those who come into our offices, as well as the communities in which we live and work. Thank you for trusting us to participate in the care of your patients. 

3/19/2020

Sioux Falls:  Our plan is to be open today, March 19th, then closed on Friday, March 20th.  Whether or not we are open next week remains dependent upon how things develop, and the recommendations made between now and then.  We will continue to see emergencies and will be available by phone for any questions or concerns.  

Fargo: We are seeing patients in clinic today, March 19th, then closed on Friday, March 20th.  Effective Monday, March 23rd, Vance Thompson Vision Fargo will be open limited hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for urgent and emergent patients.  Dr. Greenwood will be operating on Tuesdays for urgent and emergent cases only and finalize light treatments for Light Adjustable Lens post-operative patients. Should you need to contant us Dr. Grenwood and Dr. Risbrudt are available by cell phone.  Dr. Greenwood 701-320-2104 Dr. Risbrudt 218-205-4144

Bozeman:  The Bozeman Clinic will be closed starting on Friday, March 20th for at least one week, but more likely the next two weeks. The Bozeman Health Surgery Center has postponed all elective surgeries beginning 3/18 for the next three weeks.  After that time, it will then be re-assessed on a week by week basis.  We are calling all patients to reschedule or put on our callback list once we know more about availability.  Dr. Swan will be available for emergent patients and will be finishing our LAL treatments. We will have limited staff to help field any questions and make phone calls for the next 2 weeks. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Dr. Swan 402-310-5946 or clinic Director Susan DeGroot 712-363-4672.

Omaha: Vance Thompson Vision Omaha will always remain committed to our patients, but we ask for your understanding and commitment to do the same as we slow our operations to only essential visits and emergent, sight-threatening surgeries.  Please take this seriously and take this time to stay home and keep our communities healthy.  If you have questions, concerns regarding anything please reach out to Dr. Baartman 402-660-8280 cell or Kevin Oswald, Clinic Director, 402-490-0153 cell.

Alexandria: Vance Thompson Vision Alexandria will be closing on Thursday, March 19th – Monday, April 6th. Please understand this was a difficult decision to make, but our number one priority is our staff and patient safety. Our voicemail will be checked every 2 hours Monday - Friday starting at 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. If you have a medical emergency or patient concerns, please contact our providers via cell phone. Dr. Deb Ristvedt- 320-808-4697 Dr. Mathew Walker 701-388-7765

Billings:  Our Billings office will be closed beginning Friday, March 20th for at least one week, but more likely the next two weeks. Surgeries will be postponed for two weeks, beginning Monday, March 23rd. We are calling all patients to reschedule or put on our callback list once we know more availability.  Doctors will be available for emergent patients. We will have limited staff to help field any questions and make phone calls for the next few weeks. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Dr. Swan 402-310-5946 or clinic Director Susan DeGroot 712-363-4672.