Improving the quality of eye care with tele-ophthalmology: Shared-care glaucoma screening

M. de Mul, A.A. de Bont, N. Reus, H.G. Lemij, M. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We evaluated a shared-care tele-ophthalmology service initiated by the Rotterdam Eye Hospital and 10 optometrists working in retail optician stores. The optometrists screened their clients with a nerve fibre analyser and the resulting images were then further assessed by trained technicians at the hospital. We analysed data from 1729 patients and measured several indicators of the quality of the work as well as its efficiency and effectiveness. The quality of the images was at least satisfactory in most cases (89%), and the agreement between the optometrists and the hospital about normal or suspect test results was high (81%). Only 27% of the patients were called for additional testing at the hospital department and 11% consulted an ophthalmologist. Eighty new cases of glaucoma were detected. The combination of task redesign and telemedicine accounted for the success of the screening service. Task redesign was needed to transfer screening from the hospital to primary care in a safe and responsible way. Telemedicine was crucial for assuring quality, facilitating information exchange and for coordination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-336
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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