Volume 52 Number 2, 2015
Pages 193 — 200
Abstract — We conducted a retrospective chart review of 200 diabetic patients who had teleretinal imaging performed between January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2011, at Portland Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center outpatient clinics to assess the effectiveness of the diabetic teleretinal imaging program. Twenty patients (10%) had diabetic retinopathy. Ninety percent of the available teleretinal imaging studies were of adequate quality for interpretation. In accordance with local VA policy at that time, all teleretinal imaging patients should have been referred for a dilated retinal examination the following year. Image readers referred 97.5% of the patients to eye clinics for subsequent eye examinations, but the imagers scheduled appointments for only 80% of these patients. The redundancy rate, i.e., patients who had an eye examination within the past 6 mo, was 11%; the duplicate recall rate, i.e., patients who had a second teleretinal imaging performed within 1 yr of the eye examination, was 37%. Rates of timely diabetic eye examinations at clinics with teleretinal imaging programs, particularly when teleretinal imaging and eye clinics were colocated at the same community-based outpatient clinic, were higher than at those without a teleretinal imaging program. We concluded that the Portland VA Medical Center's teleretinal imaging program was successful in increasing the screening rate for diabetic retinopathy.
Key words: diabetes mellitus, diabetic retinal examination, diabetic retinopathy, dilated eye examination, outpatient clinic, primary care, screening, telehealth, teleretinal imaging, teleretinal imaging program.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, June 9, 2015 10:45 AM