Research Article - Journal of Clinical Ophthalmology (2021) Volume 0, Issue 0
Eyecare practices and glaucoma patient care trends in the face of a global pandemic, COVID-19
Objective: To understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on glaucoma eyecare practices and patient care trends.
Participants: Comprehensive and glaucoma trained ophthalmologists
Method: This was an internet-based statewide survey distributed to comprehensive and glaucoma-trained ophthalmologists in California. The survey consisted of 10 questions designed to address the effect of the pandemic on the volume of patient care visits, laser utilization, teleophthalmology trends, and frequency of routine, urgent and emergent glaucoma surgical procedures, among others.
Main outcome measure: Not-applicable
Results: Most ophthalmologists reported decreased patient volume as they focused primarily on seeing urgent and emergent glaucoma cases. While most respondents noted a significant decrease in routine surgical procedures, a majority reported a similar volume of urgent and emergent procedures comparable to the pre-COVID-19 era. Notably, most ophthalmologists responded that they did not change their prescription filling habits during the pandemic. Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) utilization decreased, paralleling the reported decrease in patient volume. Finally, just over half of the ophthalmologists surveyed implemented teleophthalmology into their practice.
Conclusion: Discovering patient care trends shed light on areas of needed advancement, such as teleophthalmology, and provides necessary insight into how ophthalmologists are coping with the challenges brought on by the pandemic.Author(s): Mustafa Safi, Katayun Fethat, Jason Bacharach