How to Leverage Telemedicine for Your Ophthalmology Practice
Telemedicine is taking center stage in the current COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no longer just a desirable option, but instead, an all-important necessity for you and your patients. The global pandemic may have sparked the urge to launch telemedicine forward, but for better or for worse, telemedicine is here to stay beyond COVID-19.
According to First Stop Health, 79% of Americans believe scheduling a telemedicine appointment is more convenient than arranging an in-person follow-up.
Your practice can gain new patients easily by providing virtual care. Telemedicine reduces no shows, increases revenue, and improves patient engagement. You’ll be able to securely communicate with your patients in real-time using telecommunication technology. Before we dive into the use cases for telemedicine at your practice, let’s first understand the technical aspects of telemedicine for ophthalmologists.
What is Telemedicine?
Ophthalmologists use telemedicine to deliver high-quality eye care through digital medical equipment. The majority of the current telemedicine services focus on patient screenings using software for diagnosing diseases and reporting results.
You and your patients will need certain tools to use telemedicine. These tools include a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or any wireless device equipped with a camera. In order to securely connect, you and your patients will also need to install a telemedicine app or software into your wireless device.
Now that you know what telemedicine is and the equipment you may need, let’s dive into the used cases.
4 Telemedicine Use Cases for Ophthalmologists
- Retinal Screenings
- Comprehensive Eye Exam
- Anterior Segment Disease
- Macular Degeneration
1. Retinal Screenings
You can remotely assess for diabetic retinopathy using camera sensors and portable fundus cameras. According to Retina Today, by the year 2030 telemedicine will be used for approximately 45 million patients with diabetes in the United States.
The rapid growth of new camera and scanning technologies, allows you to easily obtain and read eye images faster using telemedicine communication tools in a remote area. As a result, you’ll be able to provide early detection preventing blindness and increasing patient outcomes virtually.
2. Comprehensive Eye Exam
You can easily conduct an eye exam anytime and anywhere for your patients. You’ll virtually meet using video-conferencing tools to evaluate and diagnose your patient’s eye condition. During and after the exam, your patients can conveniently ask questions regarding any eye problems they may have using a patient portal.
3. Anterior Segment Disease
Take a quick anterior segment photo for your patient’s record easily with telemedicine. During a live-streamed consultation, you can evaluate their eyes using a portable digital slit-lamp for assessing anterior segment. To find out how you and your patients can set up your smartphones for slit-lamp photography click here.
4. Age-Related Macular Degeneration
You can virtually assist your patients in detecting early signs of age-related macular degeneration. Patients can use a home-based tablet device, like an iPad, to monitor their retinal sensitivity for intermediate age-related macular degeneration.
When to schedule a virtual appointment?
Virtual appointments are convenient for you and your patients. Sometimes your patient may be experiencing a problem with their eyes, but it is not considered an emergency so they are reluctant to travel to your practice. You can simply schedule a virtual visit and provide at-home treatment plans or optimal eye health advice.
If your patients have questions regarding a new medication and how it may affect their eyes, a virtual visit can take place instead of a drive to your practice. Virtual visits are also beneficial for post-surgery patients and after initial visits as a follow-up.
Outrank your ophthalmology competitors
With telemedicine, you can easily expand your specialties since you can deliver telemedicine consultations from any location. This sets you apart competitively, which, in turn, further increases your revenue. Are you ready to generate more patients and outrank your ophthalmology competitors?
Get started with telemedicine
Let us help you get started with telemedicine with your first month free so your ophthalmology practice can keep caring for your patients virtually. Give us a call at 800.792.8384 or click here to discover our digital marketing solutions.