July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
Interdisciplinary Communication: Ophthalmologists’ letters to secondary diabetes care centers
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lydia Marahrens
    Center of Ophthalmology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Daniel Roeck
    Center of Ophthalmology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Andreas Fritsche
    German Centre for Diabetes Research (DZD), Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Centre Munich at the University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Focke Ziemssen
    Center of Ophthalmology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Lydia Marahrens, None; Daniel Roeck, Novartis (F); Andreas Fritsche, None; Focke Ziemssen, Alimera (C), Allergan (C), Allergan (R), Bayer Healthcare (C), Biogen (R), Boehringer-Ingelheim (C), Clearside (R), Genetech/Roche (C), Genetech/Roche (R), MSD (C), Novartis (C), Novartis (R), NovoNordisk (C)
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 1091. doi:
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      Lydia Marahrens, Daniel Roeck, Andreas Fritsche, Focke Ziemssen; Interdisciplinary Communication: Ophthalmologists’ letters to secondary diabetes care centers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):1091.

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

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Purpose : The physicians’ letters play an important role in providing means of information and communication. In particular this applies for the interdisciplinary teamwork between general practitioner, diabetologist and ophthalmologist.

Methods : The DiabCheckOCT+ Study was a non-interventional cross-sectional study of 810 adults recruited in 3 secondary diabetes care centers during a period of 4 months. Ophthalmologic documents with clinical parameters were extracted from all patients’ electronical records, classified into different forms, analyzed on topicality, with special focus on the national guidelines for treatment of diabetic retinopathy (DR). The χ2-test was used for categorical outcomes, the one-way ANOVA for normally distributed data (α=0.05).

Results : From 474 documents created by 199 Ophthalmologists, 26.2% were generated computer-based and 73.8% were handwritten. 54.3% were standard forms, 20.5% self -designed forms and 14.6% detailed letters. 74.8% of the patients attended an ophthalmologist in the last 12 months by yielding a report-rate of 39.6%. Prevalence of DR in forms was 13.9%, in detailed letters 30.3%. The mean age of the documents was 19.1 [95% CI: 17.3; 20.8] months.

Conclusions : Deficiencies in ophthalmological communication with secondary diabetes care centers were found such as a low report rate on DR and a limited topicality of the documents available in the electronical record. Thus, retina specialists should not overestimate the amount and details of information reaching the diabetologist or general practitioner. New digital forms such as encrypted email communication or app-based data storage offer good prospects to reduce these problems.

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.


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