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Clinical Practice Guidelines - Retinopathy
Importance of regular screening for early detection of treatable diabetic retinopathy, from Diabetes Canada.Read More
Improved Access to Retinal Screening
An example of a regional program managed by St. Joseph's Healthcare's Hamilton Regional Eye Institute.Watch Video
Retinal screening of patients with diabetes is important for catching the early signs of diabetic retinopathy, which can cause vision loss. It’s targeted screening not provided through a regular eye exam. However, patient appointments with ophthalmologists can be months away and involve significant travel and related expenses. OTN’s Teleophthalmology program connects primary care providers with ophthalmologists, enabling timely, accessible retinal screening, and offering the following benefits:
Improved rates of retinal assessment and follow-up for patients with diabetes as retinal screening is part of a comprehensive diabetic assessment.
More timely and convenient access to retinopathy screening for patients with diabetes experiencing barriers to routine eye care, be it wait times or distance challenges.
Improved clinical support for local eye care providers, so fewer patients have to travel, and optimization of vision health care resources.
Patients under the care of an ophthalmologist can avoid unnecessary travel for follow-up care by having their eye images securely uploaded via OTN.
How it works
The program is simple; the referring physician sends patients for retinal screening at one of 10 Teleophthalmology sites across Ontario. The images are placed on OTN’s secure server and then securely forwarded or “uploaded” to an ophthalmologist for assessment, diagnosis, and/or treatment recommendations. The referring physician then coordinates the necessary follow-up care.
Patient Eligibility Criteria and Referral Process
- A healthcare provider takes a digital image of the patient’s eye.
- Images and patient information are securely uploaded to the Teleophthalmology service.
- An Ontario ophthalmologist reviews the case and responds to the referring healthcare provider.
- The referring healthcare provider coordinates any necessary follow-up care.