MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- As more essential businesses start to open their doors in Wisconsin a new normal is evolving. Owners are finding creative ways to meet consumer needs.
Metro Eye in Milwaukee's Third Ward was closed for almost six weeks. They started seeing patients again, in person, this week. I scheduled an appointment and soon learned they had a new way of doing business. Since this is a challenge many places will face when the state starts to reopen, I decided to share the process with all of you.
Right now all business at Metro Eye is appointment only, even if you're just shopping for frames or, like me, picking up glasses.
Before your scheduled appointment patients get an email outlining the new process. It asks you to confirm a few things, like how you're feeling and if you've had contact with anyone exposed to, or tested positive for, COVID-19.
The email asks everyone to call first when they arrive at Metro Eye and to mask up before coming inside. An employee meets you at the door for a temperature check. If over 100 degrees you will be asked to reschedule.
All staff wears a mask and opticians also use gloves and have as little contact as possible. Only one doctor is in the office seeing patients and appointments are spaced out for social distancing and cleaning.
"We'll continue to do what we've always done for patients. It just might look a little bit different," owner and optometrist Dr. Amy Jankowski pointed out.
From plexiglass at different stations to protect employees and taking patient information over the phone there are a number of new safety measures in place. "Instead of having a technician in the room, that tech is off site in another exam room or scribing from home via video chat," Dr. Jankowski explained.
Metro Eye also launched a Telehealth option back in March while it was closed. Something Dr. Jankowski said they always wanted to do but never had the time to set up. It's technology that's working well for both patients and doctors. "It's really going to, I think, change not only what we're able to do for our patients now, but what we're going to be able to do for them in the future," she pointed out.
Taking Telehealth one step further, Metro Eye also launched Telestyling. Opticians hand select frames during a video chat. Your favorites are then delivered to your house, and a stylist will join you virtually while you try them on.
As an owner, Dr. Jankowski said she's faced many challenges but this one came a lot faster. "There's always going to be challenges. Those of us that are willing to make the change are going to do better and be a better business for it ... if we try to do things like we've always done them then it's not going to work, because the world is a different place today than it was."