V.YIP1, R.G. SIANTAR1, J.J. OGLE1, S.N. JUMAHAT1, E.X. CHONG1, W.C. SOO HOO1, P.L. TEO1
Tan Tock Seng Hospital1
The ageing population and better access to healthcare in Singapore has created a huge burden on our healthcare resources. Whilst the pool of ophthalmologists is increasing every year, it is not sufficient to meet the demands of the growing number of patients with chronic eye disease. Glaucoma is chronic eye condition that requires life-long follow up. During the COVID19 pandemic, many glaucoma patients falter on their follow up and medications. The Virtual Ophthalmology Service (TVOS) was implemented with the aim of reducing unnecessary physical consultations and increase the efficiency in the management of glaucoma patients. We aim to reduce the turn-around-time (TAT) by 30%.
Stable glaucoma patients that met the entry criteria into TVOS were consented for this service. The efficiency of the service was assessed by comparing the TAT for glaucoma patients before and after implementation of TVOS. During the TVOS visit, patients were escalated to the face-to-face consultation if they had new complaints, deterioration in their visual acuity or elevated eye pressures.
Between July 2020 to April 2021, there were 90 patients seen in TVOS glaucoma clinic. There was a reduction in TAT from an average of 70 minutes to 34 minutes (51.4% reduction) with the implementation of TVOS. There were 18 patients escalated to the face-to-face consultation with the glaucoma specialists as they met the escalation criteria.
We have demonstrated that TVOS is a safe and efficient way of managing patients with stable glaucoma condition.