Inpatient Virtual Vision Clinic Improves Access to Vision Rehabilitation Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Keilty M, Houston KE, Collins C, Trehan R, Chen Y-T, Merabet L, Watts A, Pundlik S, Luo G. Inpatient Virtual Vision Clinic Improves Access to Vision Rehabilitation Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Arch Rehabil Res Clin Transl 2021;3(1):100100.

Date Published:

2021 Mar


Objective: To describe and evaluate a secure video call system combined with a suite of iPad vision testing apps to improve access to vision rehabilitation assessment for inpatients. Design: Retrospective. Setting: Two acute care inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and 1 long-term acute care (LTAC) hospital. Participants: Records of inpatients seen by the vision service. Interventions: Records from a 1-year telemedicine pilot performed at acute rehabilitation (AR) hospital 1 and then expanded to AR hospital 2 and LTAC hospital during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reviewed. In the virtual visits, an occupational therapist measured the patients' vision with the iPad applications and forwarded results to the off-site Doctor of Optometry (OD) for review prior to a video visit. The OD provided diagnosis and education, press-on prism application supervision, strategies and modifications, and follow-up recommendations. Providers completed the telehealth usability questionnaire (10-point scale). Main Outcome Measures: Vision examinations per month at AR hospital 1 before and with telemedicine. Results: With telemedicine at AR hospital 1, mean visits per month significantly increased from 10.7±5 to 14.9±5 (=.002). Prism was trialed in 40% of cases of which 83% were successful, similar to previously reported in-person success rates. COVID-19 caused only a marginal decrease in visits per month (=.08) at AR1, whereas the site without an established program (AR hospital 2) had a 3-4 week gap in care while the program was initiated. Cases at the LTAC hospital tended to be more complex and difficult to manage virtually. The telehealth usability questionnaire median category scores were 7 for , 8 for , 6 for , and 9 for . Conclusions: The virtual vision clinic process improved inpatient access to eye and visual neurorehabilitation assessment before and during the COVID-19 quarantine and was well accepted by providers and patients.

Last updated on 03/31/2021