Current Position Information
Sports Medicine Fellow, UPMC Sports Medicine Fellowship, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Scholarly Research Project
Will Screening Rates Improve with Digital Stereoscopic Retinal Imager (DSRI)?
Shane Hennessy, DO; Alan Finkelstein, MD
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of visual impairment within the US. Yearly DR screening substantially decreases rates of blindness. Many limitations, such as time, access to care, finances, and transportation, restrict patients’ abilities to complete recommended screening with ophthalmologist referral. At the Shadyside FHC, the completion rate for yearly dilated retinal exams is 25%. My goal was to use an office-based DSRI to reduce the barriers to annual retinal screening and improve our screening completion rates.
We obtained funding from the Shadyside Hospital Foundation to purchase a DSRI and made an agreement with a faculty ophthalmologist who reads the images at no cost. We trained our nursing staff to perform the exam and transmit the images. Physicians identify diabetic patients due for screening and order the exam. Scanned images are sent electronically to the ophthalmologist for reading, the interpretation is returned to the ordering physician, and the completion is recorded in the electronic medical record. We initiated in-office screening on February 1, 2017, and collected data through April 26th.
In total, physicians ordered DSRI screening for 88 patients with 79 having completed results recorded in the EMR, for a rate of 89.8%. Poor images (6 patients), incorrect orders (2), and leaving without imaging performed (1) were causes for not completing the ordered exam.
DSRI removed barriers, and our completion rate for DR screenings increased from 25% to 89%. With more time we hope to apply this completion rate to the entire diabetic population.