Improved access and cycle time with an "in-house" patient-centered teleglaucoma program versus traditional in-person assessment

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Background: To compare access time and cycle time between an "in-house" teleglaucoma program and in-person glaucoma consultation.
Patients and methods: This was a prospective comparative study of 71 patients seen through the teleglaucoma program (eligible patients were glaucoma suspects or early-stage open-angle glaucoma) and 63 patients seen via a traditional in-person exam with a physician present. Access time was calculated as the time from the patient being referred to the date of a booked visit for either a teleglaucoma or in-person exam. Cycle time was defined as the time from registration until departure during the visit to the hospital; it was calculated for the subset of patients from each study group who completed activity logs on the day of their visit.
Results: The mean access time was significantly shorter for patients seen through teleglaucoma compared with in-person exam: 45±22 days (range, 13-121 days) (n=68) versus 88±47 days (range, 27-214 days) (n=63), respectively (p<0.0001). The cycle time was also reduced for patients seen through teleglaucoma, compared with in-person assessment: 78±20 min (range, 40-130 min) (n=39) versus 115±44 min (range, 51-216 min) (n=39), respectively (p<0.001). The mean percentage time spent in the waiting room was also significantly reduced for patients seen through teleglaucoma versus in-person assessments: 19±13% versus 41±24% (n=39), respectively (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Teleglaucoma improves access to care and is a more efficient way of managing glaucoma suspects and patients with early-stage glaucoma compared with in-person assessment.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Telemedicine and e-Health