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Meriam Islam, Christoph Kern, Karsten Ulrich Kortuem, Konstantinos Balaskas, Pearse Andrew Keane, Dawn A Sim; To Compare Patient Satisfaction In Two Different Medical Retina Clinic Settings: Face-to-Face Versus Virtual Clinic. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):5438.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To improve resource management in our medical retina department, in September 2016 virtual retina medical clinics (VRMC) were implemented on four sites of Moorfields Eye Hospital. In our VMRC patients do not see a doctor on the day of examination but receive a doctor's letter within one week post visit. Patient's perspective regarding healthcare interventions play a vital role in patient engagement with new services. The aim of this study was to evaluate patients’ satisfaction in the well-established face-to-face clinic (F2F) with the new virtual clinic setting.
Patient satisfaction was measured with seven questions targeting the difference between F2F and VMRC directly. Scores range from 1-5 on a department-scale, with higher scores indicating greater levels of satisfaction. Patients are approached following their consultation and requested to complete the survey. This is an ongoing study targeting 100 patients in each group.
Thus far, 31 Patients (16 male,15 female) completed our questionnaire following their visit to the eye unit. 8 patients attended the VMRC whereas 24 a F2F consultation. 62% of patients understood the purpose of their visit prior attending a VMRC, this was 88% in the F2F setting. Importantly only 50% were aware they would not see a doctor during their virtual visit. Targeting safety, 100% of our virtual patients agreed feeling safe in a VMRC compared to 91% agreement in a regular F2F clinic. Despite waiting times meeting patients' expectations in both clinic settings (88% in the VMRC and 81% in the F2F clinic), 15% of patients in the F2F clinic agreed that they would rather be seen in a virtual clinic settling if the waiting time was less. Only 88% of patients in the F2F setting agreed that they were aware of what would happen once they left the clinic that day, contrasting with 100% of those attending the VMRC.
The first results from this study demonstrate encouraging responses from those who attend the new virtual services with all patients so far agreeing regarding the feeling of safety. However, 50% of patients were expecting to meet with a doctor in this setting and further patient education targeting this is necessary. Our high patient satisfaction demonstrates that there is room for virtual clinics in our healthcare system from a patient's perspective.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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