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Telemed J E Health ; 2022 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864952


Objective: To evaluate the attitudes, beliefs, and practice patterns of vitreoretinal specialists regarding the utilization of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to identify features which may predict future telemedicine use. Methods: An 11-question anonymous survey was completed electronically in July 2020 by vitreoretinal specialists practicing in the United States. Results: The survey response rate was 13.0% (361/2,774). Thirty-five respondents (9.7%) had used telemedicine before March 1, 2020; after March 1, 2020, 170 (47.1%) reported using telemedicine (p < 0.001). Of the 170 respondents who reported telemedicine use, a majority (65.3%;111/170) performed 0-5 patient visits per week. Female retina specialists, younger physicians, and those with prior telemedicine usage were more likely to use telemedicine. Barriers to telemedicine use included concern for misdiagnosis (332/361, 92.0%), inability to obtain optical coherence tomography imaging (330/361, 91.4%), inability to obtain fundus imaging (327/361, 90.6%), lack of access to and/or comfort with the technology (261/361, 72.3%), potential legal liability (229/361, 63.4%), and low reimbursement (227/361, 62.9%). The majority of respondents (225/361; 62.3%) reported that telemedicine without ancillary imaging was not an acceptable way to evaluate patients. However, 59.2% (214/361) would find telemedicine acceptable if remote imaging was available. Conclusions: The pandemic led to a rapid adoption of telemedicine by vitreoretinal specialists. The majority of specialists using telemedicine performed five or fewer visits per week. The availability of remote imaging may increase confidence in clinical outcomes with a subsequent increase in utilization of telemedicine by vitreoretinal specialists.

Am J Ophthalmol ; 222: 194-201, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739728


PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of physician face mask use on rates and outcomes of postinjection endophthalmitis. DESIGN: Retrospective, comparative cohort study. METHODS: Setting: Single-center. StudyPopulation: Eyes receiving intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections from July 1, 2013, to September 1, 2019. INTERVENTION: Cases were divided into "Face Mask" group if face masks were worn by the physician during intravitreal injections or "No Talking" group if no face mask was worn but a no-talking policy was observed during intravitreal injections. MainOutcomeMeasures: Rate of endophthalmitis, visual acuity, and microbial spectrum. RESULTS: Of 483,622 intravitreal injections administered, 168 out of 453,460 (0.0371%) cases of endophthalmitis occurred in the No Talking group, and 9 out of 30,162 (0.0298%) cases occurred in the Face Mask group (odds ratio, 0.81; 95% confidence interval, 0.41-1.57; P = .527). Sixteen cases of oral flora-associated endophthalmitis were found in the No Talking group (1 in 28,341 injections), compared to none in the Face Mask group (P = .302). Mean logMAR visual acuity at presentation in cases that developed culture-positive endophthalmitis was significantly worse in the No Talking group compared to the Face Mask group (17.1 lines lost from baseline acuity vs 13.4 lines lost; P = .031), though no difference was observed at 6 months after treatment (P = .479). CONCLUSION: Physician face mask use did not influence the risk of postinjection endophthalmitis compared to a no-talking policy. However, no cases of oral flora-associated endophthalmitis occurred in the Face Mask group. Future studies are warranted to assess the role of face mask use to reduce endophthalmitis risk, particularly attributable to oral flora.

Angiogenesis Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Endophthalmitis/prevention & control , Eye Infections, Bacterial/prevention & control , Intravitreal Injections/adverse effects , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Personal Protective Equipment/statistics & numerical data , Retinal Diseases/drug therapy , Endophthalmitis/etiology , Eye Infections, Bacterial/etiology , Humans , Physicians , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/antagonists & inhibitors , Visual Acuity