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Virtual Glaucoma Surveillance Clinic

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By: Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

Project Description

Background: In the UK, there is a higher demand for ophthalmic services than there is available capacity, possibly leading to irreversible blindness for some patients. A virtual clinic removes the face-to-face clinician consultation. It is replaced with either a synchronous model where the clinician and patient interact in real-time via a webcam, or an asynchronous model where a technician collects data for the clinician to review later and make decisions.

Approach: Following the Royal College of Ophthalmology “Way Forward” document, a virtual glaucoma clinic was designed to address the capacity shortfall and the first year results were audited.

Intended Benefits

Patient outcomes: The clinic allowed reviewers to streamline patients to the most appropriate glaucoma service, changing the patient’s access to care and pathway. Further monitoring to assess effects on patient outcomes is needed.

Environmental, Financial, Social: There is an assumed reduction in travel time for patients, carers, and staff, allowing for patients and carers to focus on usual activities and for staff to see more patients. This might also reduce the impact on the environment due to travel.

Potential Barriers

Challenges to implementing this system:

  • Resources needed to set up the surveillance clinic
  • Initial patient/carer and staff adjustment to virtual surveillance system
  • Technology and training required to operate

Key Aspects of the Project

This project made adjustments to the patient pathway and experience, ideally making the journey more accessible and appropriate for the patient’s needs. In addition, a focus of the project was to alleviate the demand for ophthalmic services through a change in service provision.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

completed
Meena Basta, n/a