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AGS 2024: Tips for implementing telehealth into ophthalmology

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Video

April Maa, MD, sat down with David Hutton of Ophthalmology Times to discuss her presentation at the annual American Glaucoma Society meeting held in Huntington Beach, about tips and tricks for implementing telehealth into ophthalmology.

April Maa, MD, sat down with David Hutton of Ophthalmology Times to discuss her presentation at the annual American Glaucoma Society meeting held in Huntington Beach, about tips and tricks for implementing telehealth into ophthalmology.

Video Transcript

Editor's note - This transcript has been edited for clarity.

David Hutton:

I'm David Hutton of Ophthalmology Times, the American Glaucoma Society is holding its annual meeting in Huntington Beach, California. At the meeting, Dr. April Maa made a presentation titled "Managing Glaucoma from Your Beach Shack: Practical Recommendations on Telehealth." Thank you so much for joining us today. This certainly is an interesting topic. Tell us about the presentation.

April Maa, MD:

Thank you, Mr. David, for inviting me and having us talk about the presentation. So it is meant to be a very practical look at how to implement a telehealth program. I've done quite a bit of that type of work within the VA. And so we give a presentation specifically about the different phases of implementation. What questions should you ask, how do you decide what equipment and what type of telehealth modality you're going to use. And then ultimately, how you manage your program once it started. So in terms of looking at quality or ways to improve, so looking at PDSA improvement cycles and things like that. So hope to be very useful and practical tips so that people can go out and do more telehealth because, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to be able to take care of patients from the beach or be a patient myself and be able to get my glaucoma checked from the beach as well.

David Hutton:

Telehealth is clearly a growing trend. How can ophthalmologists use these tips and treat and educate their patients?

April Maa, MD:

I think that ophthalmologists need to embrace and see the potential in telehealth. Not every patient is right for telehealth, as well. So I think looking at ways that your practice and your patient population would benefit from telehealth. Then looking to implement programs within your practice that will allow you to do telehealth and allow your patients to interact with your practice using telehealth would be really good starting points.

David Hutton:

And lastly, where do you see telehealth making gains and progressing in the next say, three years?

April Maa, MD:

That's a really good question. I actually think that ophthalmology is a great field but there's not very many of us. And so I think that in order for us to reach our patients and be able to deliver them the sight saving care that we know we can do, we need to be better at using telehealth tools to provide access to our patients and increase the reach of our practices. So I really think that in the next few years, telehealth is particularly moving in the direction of beyond just screening and moving more into actual care being delivered by the sub specialist. For example, retina being able to support comprehensive ophthalmology practices through telehealth, or delivering care directly to rural patients who can't drive every time to be able to provide that care directly to them.

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