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The RetinaVue® Care Delivery Model at Summit Medical Group Results in High Rates of Ophthalmic Follow-Up and Treatment
The RetinaVue care delivery model helps primary healthcare providers detect diseases that manifest in the retina, including diabetic retinopathy. The handheld RetinaVue 100 Imager is used to acquire non-mydriatic fundus images in minutes. The clinician then transfers encrypted fundus images via secure HIPAA compliant RetinaVue Network software to a team of board certified ophthalmologists who provide a diagnostic report and referral/care plan generally the same day.
Most patients referred for diabetic retinopathy from the RetinaVue care delivery model in primary care receive appropriate follow-up care, including an examination by an eye specialist and treatment (as needed).
The best weapon against diabetic retinopathy is early detection, but compliance with diabetic retinal exams is low – nationally, only 20-to-50 percent of patients comply.1 Yet, up to 95% of vision loss can be prevented if caught and treated early.2
Teleretinal imaging has been demonstrated to increase compliance rates for diabetic retinal exams with some clinics achieving compliance greater than 90%.3 However, few studies have examined the long-term outcomes of patients receiving a teleretinal diabetic retinal exam.
Summit Medical Group (SMG) is a large primary care organization in East Tennessee with more than 300 physicians located in 55 offices. SMG implemented the RetinaVue care delivery model in 2015 to provide diabetic retinal exams to their patients at their annual office visit. This study will analyze the compliance of patients who were referred for specialist care based on their results from the diabetic retinal exam:
- Do patients referred for diabetic retinopathy from the RetinaVue care delivery model attend their follow-up appointments?
- Do they receive recommended treatment?
- What is the accuracy of the referrals provided from the RetinaVue care delivery model?
Since implementation of the RetinaVue care delivery model in 2015, SMG has offered diabetic retinal eye exams to all their diabetic patients. SMG’s clinicians acquire the retinal images on both the right and left eye using the RetinaVue 100 Imager during their routine office visit. The clinician then transfers the fundus images through the RetinaVue Network software to a team of board-certified ophthalmologists (RetinaVue, P.C.) who provide a diagnostic report and referral/care plan.
Patients that were identified with severe, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) or worse were referred for follow up with an eye care specialist.
To determine how many of these patients complied with this recommendation, SMG searched their records through the RetinaVue Network database (June 2015 through September 2017). From those patients, an additional search was conducted in the electronic medical record (EMR) database to identify:
- Patient demographics
- Ophthalmology notes and follow-up appoint attendance
- Prior history of diabetic retinopathy (DR)
- Pathology identified
- Evidence of treatment received for DR
Diabetic Patient Profile
Based on the records from the EMR and the RetinaVue Network database, a total of 109 patients were identified with pathology for which referral was recommended. Of the 109 patients that SMG referred for follow-up care by ophthalmologists, 86 patients attended their appointment, a 79% compliance rate. Previous teleretinal imaging studies have recorded compliance rates ranging from 49% to 55%.4-8