New COVID-era Eye Care Paradigms: Innovation, Collaboration and Hope
“Throughout the pandemic we have been encouraged, rather than discouraged, by the challenges,” said Jeffrey M. Liebmann, MD, the Shirlee and Bernard Brown Professor, Vice-Chair, and Director of the Glaucoma Division of the Department Ophthalmology at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center. “Our teaching institutions are developing new ways to educate residents and are already rethinking the best ways of addressing the needs of our current and future trainees. Ophthalmologists and ophthalmic researchers have been, and are, among the most innovative of all members of the health care community and our solutions to these problems will change medicine forever.”
“As we continue to battle the pandemic and support our front-line colleagues, we are initiating the development of new COVID-era eye care paradigms so that we will be ready to meet the extraordinary and unprecedented challenges that face us and our patients as we strive to preserve their vision in the months and years ahead,” said Dr. Liebmann.
“Teleophthalmology will play a permanent role in ophthalmic practice,” said Dr. Chen. “Developing standardized protocols and incorporating objective testing into teleophthalmology will create more opportunities for its use. Uncomplicated postoperative care likely can be transitioned to virtual visits, as can some consultations for external and lid pathologic features. New patient triages may be screened through video examinations first. Efficient diagnostic-only visits (e.g., vision, pressure, imaging) with remote consultation follow-ups may be used for other conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy or stable glaucoma. Thoughtful restructuring of care models will save patients from endless hours in waiting rooms and will concentrate more severe pathologic features for our trainees to learn from and take care of in clinic.”
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