Euretina Congress

Euretina Congress

Source:

Schneiders M. Telemedicine: Outcomes of a hybrid vitreoretinal service. Presented at: Euretina congress; Sept. 9-12, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Schneiders reports no relevant financial disclosures.
September 17, 2021
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Study shows success of hybrid in-person, telemedicine model of vitreoretinal care

Source:

Schneiders M. Telemedicine: Outcomes of a hybrid vitreoretinal service. Presented at: Euretina congress; Sept. 9-12, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Schneiders reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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A hybrid model of patient care, combining telemedicine and traditional face-to-face visits, may offer the best of both worlds, minimizing the risk for disease transmission while maximizing practicality and patient safety.

“In a retrospective study, we analyzed the safety and efficacy of our project. We also assessed patient satisfaction, and the results were overwhelmingly positive,” Matt Schneiders, MD, said at the virtual Euretina congress.

This model of vitreoretinal hybrid telemedicine service was launched at the Sheffield Teaching Hospital, U.K., in the midst of the pandemic. Following triage, an initial patient appointment took place in a streamline clinic. Standard data acquisition included visual acuity, IOP, widefield imaging and OCT. Within a week, patients were then scheduled to have a telephone consultation with a vitreoretinal specialist who shared and discussed their outcomes.

The study was based on the retrospective review of electronic medical records and interviews with a random sample of this cohort to assess patient satisfaction. Data for 333 patients were collected and analyzed.

The most frequent diagnoses were full-thickness macular hole (26%), retinal detachment (25%) and epiretinal membrane (12%). The most frequent outcome was to be discharged from the vitreoretinal service (36%), while 10% of patients required an additional face-to-face appointment to complete the consultation. Seventeen percent of patients were listed for surgery, and 94% of them had no changes made to their operative plan.

“Unscheduled presentation to our emergency clinic was low, at 4% of cases. Re-detachment rate was 7%, very acceptable in pandemic circumstances, although it is possible that earlier identification could have taken place in a traditional clinical environment,” Schneiders said.

Patient satisfaction was very high, with 100% of patients strongly agreeing that they were satisfied, and about half saying that they favored a hybrid clinic appointment in comparison to a traditional face-to-face outpatient service, he said.