Methods: LAC-DPH conducted a survey consisting of 17 questions related to infection prevention practices among a sample of optometry providers in the county. The survey was administered online (SurveyMonkey) via emails sent to a local optometric society’s listserv and in-person at a local continuing education event for optometrists. The results were analyzed and are represented as percentages.
Results: There were 42 responses, 20 via the online survey (response rate 15%) and 22 via the in-person survey (response rate 22%). The majority worked in an optometry clinic: 77.5% (n=31). More than half had no written hand-hygiene policy (58.5%, n=24), 46.2% (n=18) did not wear gloves while examining patients with eye drainage and about half (48.7%, n=18) did not use droplet precautions for patients with respiratory symptoms. The vast majority used multi-dose eye-drop vials (92.5%, n=37) but more than 40% (n=21) did not discard the vial if the tip came into contact with conjunctiva. The majority (68.4%, n=26) used alcohol wipes with 70% isopropyl alcohol to disinfect tonometers, while 47.4% (n=18) used non-contact tonometers and 23.6% (n=9) used disposable tips (options for this question were not mutually exclusive).
Conclusion: Infection prevention practices in optometry clinics are sub-optimal and must be improved. All optometry clinics must have a hand-hygiene policy and discard multi-dose vials which come into contact with conjunctivae. While the evidence on the best disinfectant for tonometers is limited, commonly used disinfectants like 70% alcohol wipes or 3% hydrogen peroxide have been associated with adenovirus outbreaks. Current evidence suggests that infectious spread via tonometers can be prevented by using disposable covers or by disinfection with 1:10 diluted bleach.
D. Terashita, None