Wills Eye Conference

Wills Eye Conference

Source:

Anaya J. Synchronous telemedicine at Wills Eye Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented at: Wills Eye Conference; March 12, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Anaya reports no relevant financial disclosures.
March 23, 2021
1 min read
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Telemedicine eye care evaluations in early phase of pandemic well received

Source:

Anaya J. Synchronous telemedicine at Wills Eye Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented at: Wills Eye Conference; March 12, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Anaya reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Synchronous audiovisual telemedicine of eye care services was well received by patients and physicians during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a speaker at the virtual Wills Eye Conference.

“We found that patients really liked this,” Joseph Anaya, MD, MBA, said.

Anaya and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review of 695 patients seen using the telemedicine platform at Wills Eye Hospital from March 15, 2020, to June 15, 2020. The patients were followed for 90 days after the virtual appointment until they had an in-person exam. Each patient’s evaluation of their in-person exam was compared with that of the virtual appointment. Anaya and colleagues also looked at diagnoses, therapeutic decisions and diagnostic concordance of physicians. The median synchronous patient-physician time was 9 minutes.

Of the 695 patients, 180 had an in-person appointment following the telemedicine evaluation within the 90 days of the study. The study found that 96% of the 180 cases received a concordant diagnosis between the telemedicine and in-person appointments. Physician evaluations showed that 86% felt they could make a therapeutic decision at a telemedicine appointment.

The top three most common diagnoses included stye, chalazion or other eyelid pathology; blepharitis or dry eye; and glaucoma. In about 75% of the cases, the physician recommended the patient be seen in person 30 days or more after the telemedicine evaluation.

Additionally, patients gave a mean score of 9.3 out of 10 as their likelihood of recommending the telemedicine service to a friend despite there being a 40% rate of technical issues seeing or hearing during the telemedicine visits.