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YIJUN CAI, Karsten Ulrich Kortuem, Katrin Fasler, Amanda Charnley, Pearse Andrew Keane, Konstantinos Balaskas, Dawn A Sim; Evaluation of virtual clinic follow-up for medical retina patients in a tertiary eye care referral centre. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):5242.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Medical retinal diseases are a large burden to eye care services across the globe due to its high patient load, and yet they are still growing in numbers. In this retrospective study, we report the outcomes of our virtual medical retina clinic (VMRC) delivered by Moorfields Eye hospital at St George’s hospital, London. This is an extension to our pilot study investigating the implementation of VMRC.
We look at patients who had first attended their VMRC (September 2016 to May 2017) and had subsequently been referred for a consecutive VMRC (January 2017 to November 2017) at the same hospital. All patients received visual acuity testing, OCT scans and dilated fundus photography. Grading was performed by consultants and medical retina fellows. The outcomes of these follow-up virtual consultations and reasons for F2FC referrals were assessed.
A total of 364 patients were included, a majority of which were diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Of all patients who attended the VMRC follow-up, 2.66% were discharged, 84.03% continued to be seen in VMRC, 13.31% were referred to face-to-face clinics (F2FC). The main reason for F2FC was increase in retinal thickness on OCT imaging (64.71%). Other reasons include poor image quality (8.57%) and detection of new vessels (5.71%). Patients who failed to attend 2 consecutive appointments (64.29%) made up the majority of patients who were discharged, with a few thought to have stable disease (25%), some of which were discharged to be seen at national screening programmes.
VMRC serves as a viable alternative to help cope with capacity issues in medical retinal clinics with very high demands as shown with its successful implementation in our initial study. This solution not only allows clinicians to see patients who need higher levels of monitoring and treatment, the same level of quality care may be provided to low-risk patients in a safe and sustainable manner with VMRC.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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