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Joshua C. Teichman, Manreet Alangh, Gamal Seif, Varun Chaudhary; Parent Satisfaction of Real-Time Screening for Retinopathy of Prematurity using Telemedicine. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):3164.
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To evaluate parent satisfaction of a new real-time telemedicine initiative, screening high-risk infants for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).
Infants born less than 32 weeks, less than 1500 grams or referred by a physician member of the neonatal team in a community hospital were evaluated using the RetCam by a trained technician. Both inpatient and outpatient infants were included. Live video feed of the RetCam evaluation was broadcast to an academic center where it was analyzed by a retinal specialist with training in pediatric retinal disease. Patients with suspicious pathology were transported in a timely fashion for evaluation. All remaining patients were transported for evaluation upon discharge. A survey was administered to the parents of the infants at the time of the initial RetCam evaluation regarding their experience with telemedicine. Results were tabulated and analyzed.
Thirty-four infants were evaluated in the first seven months of the project; five infants (14.7%) were outpatients, and twenty-nine (85.3%) were inpatients. The majority of patients had two examinations (14, 41.2%), followed by one (9, 26.5%) or three (6, 17.6%) examinations. Twenty surveys were completed (58.8%). Five of the twenty respondents (25%) were satisfied with the overall process, thirteen (65%) were neutral, and two (10%) were somewhat dissatisfied. When questioned regarding the importance of their infant’s eye examinations being performed on-site, ten (50%) agreed, eight (40%) were neutral, and two (10%) disagreed.
In the first seven months studying retinopathy of prematurity by real-time telemedicine, thirty-four infants were evaluated and twenty questionnaires were completed. The majority of respondents agreed with, or were neutral to, the process. Furthermore, the majority of parents were agreeable to, or neutral to, not having to transport their infant for numerous eye examinations. The current study reveals the benefit of tele-ROP screening, and additional cost-benefit analysis is currently being performed.
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