June 2021
Volume 62, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2021
iLids: Virtual oculoplatics in the COVID-19 pandemic
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jordan Miller
    Ophthalmology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, United States
  • Dante Pennipede
    Ophthalmology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Jordan Miller, None; Dante Pennipede, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2021, Vol.62, 1974. doi:
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      Jordan Miller, Dante Pennipede; iLids: Virtual oculoplatics in the COVID-19 pandemic. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):1974.

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

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Purpose : During COVID-19 many adjustments have occurred within medicine. Notably, telehealth has become a ubiquitous tool for providing safe care. Past studies have looked at integration of telehealth into oculoplastics (Elishai, 2020). However, no literature exists regarding the best use of this modality; this study aims to fill that gap.

Methods : 395 men and women, aged 3-95, seen April to September 2020 in the oculoplastic department at KU Eye were included. Via chart review, subjects were categorized based on age, gender, encounter type, appointment format, whether the patient presented for their appointment, and complications experienced. The data were then analyzed using chi-square testing and linear regression models.

Results : Most patients seen were females over 60 years old (Image 1) . The most common encounter types were new patient and follow up (Image 2). There was statistical significance between encounter type and appointment format, with most telehealth visits being post-ops or follow ups (X2=22.94, df=4, p=0.00013). Expectedly, there was a significant difference in the number of appointment related complications and appointment format (X2=60.448, df=2, p=7.481e-14). Telehealth visits had a higher association with complications including: delay in appointment time due to connectivity issues, and having to resort to a different appointment format (i.e. rescheduling for a different day in-person, or resorting to phone due to issues with the telehealth interface). There was a positive correlation with age and complications, however this was not found to be significant (p=0.747). There was also no significant difference in “no-shows” among telehealth versus in-person visits (X2=2.6769, df=1, p=0.1018).

Conclusions : Trialed during the COVID-19 pandemic at KU Eye, and supported by Elishai et al., telehealth has proven to be a safe and effective way to provide care to patients in an oculoplastic practice. It useful for post-operative visits, pre-operative evaluation, new patient visits, and routine follow up. Patients of various ages can utilize the technology to attend a telehealth visit with minimal complications. To reduce the frequency of these complications, it may be prudent to implement an interactive tutorial for patients prior to their appointment time. Further research investigating outcomes of patients seen via telehealth versus in-person is warranted.

This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.




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