April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Telemedicine versus in-person examination: High patient satisfaction with a teleglaucoma model for detection and management of glaucoma suspects in rural Alberta
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sourabh Arora
    Ophthalmology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • Khaliq Kurji
    Ophthalmology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • Irfan Kherani
    Ophthalmology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • Christopher J Rudnisky
    Ophthalmology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • Karim F Damji
    Ophthalmology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Sourabh Arora, None; Khaliq Kurji, None; Irfan Kherani, None; Christopher Rudnisky, Secure Diagnostic Imaging Ltd. (C); Karim Damji, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 6100. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Sourabh Arora, Khaliq Kurji, Irfan Kherani, Christopher J Rudnisky, Karim F Damji; Telemedicine versus in-person examination: High patient satisfaction with a teleglaucoma model for detection and management of glaucoma suspects in rural Alberta. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):6100.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract
 
Purpose
 

To assess patient satisfaction with a teleophthalmology model for glaucoma detection and management as compared to standard in-person examination amongst a sample population of glaucoma suspect patients in rural Alberta.

 
Methods
 

76 new glaucoma suspect patients from rural Alberta were selected if they had experienced both a teleglaucoma virtual exam (history, exam and diagnostic information uploaded from their local optometrist visit), as well as a traditional ophthalmologist-based in-person assessment over the past two years. A 5-point Likert scale structured patient questionnaire was carried out by an independent trained staff over the telephone. The questionnaire consisted of twelve questions, which compared patient experiences and preferences between their teleglaucoma and ophthalmologist-based consultations. University of Alberta REB approval was obtained.

 
Results
 

Of the 76 patients that fit the selection criteria, 23 (30% response rate) were successfully contacted by telephone. Patients traveled less total distances for their teleglaucoma visit as compared to their ophthalmologist-based screening exam (69.25+/- 117 km vs. 226.84 +/-198 km). Patients also spent less time at the teleglaucoma visit (0.40 +/- 0.30 hours) as compared to the in-person ophthalmologist exam (1.51 +/- 0.97 hours). Analysis of the questionnaire (1-strongly disagree to 5-strongly agree), showed that patients were satisfied with their teleglaucoma examination (4.5+/-0.84). Furthermore, when asked about their choice of glaucoma screening in the future, patients preferred to use teleglaucoma (4.26+/-1.38). Patients cited time saving (91.3%), convenience (91.3%), and lower cost (60.9%) as the primary benefits of teleglaucoma.

 
Conclusions
 

This study demonstrates high patient satisfaction with a teleglaucoma exam when compared to in person ophthalmologist care in patients at risk for glaucoma in rural Alberta. Patients report that teleglaucoma reduces travel distance, time, and associated cost for those being screened as glaucoma suspects. Studies validating the model by comparing in-person to tele-examination are underway by our group.

 
 
Patient care pathway using Telelglaucoma for detection and management of glaucoma through a collaborative care model with optometrists.
 
Patient care pathway using Telelglaucoma for detection and management of glaucoma through a collaborative care model with optometrists.
 
Keywords: 460 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: health care delivery/economics/manpower • 465 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: systems/equipment/techniques  
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