We initially approached telehealth with trepidation, because we’d never done it before—but crisis spurs innovation and adaptation, and we are now becoming quite confident in giving our diagnosis or opinion across this platform.
Telehealth works very well with our satellite sites where there is a primary optometrist able to see patients. For more complex cases where ophthalmologists are being called in to consult, the primary optometrist can perform diagnostic imaging and exams, then upload the images and results to FORUM for the consulting doctor in our main site to view. With FORUM and similar software, these images can be viewed by the consulting physician in
real-time, allowing for telehealth consults at a great distance while the patient is in the clinic, or even once they have returned home.
FORUM allowed for the upgraded telehealth workflow to operate more efficiently. Without FORUM, I cannot imagine how I would be able to give a confident diagnosis via telehealth. Imagine there weren’t any platforms for us to use—my colleagues would not be able to share information as easily or as accurately as is possible through this software. Integrated diagnostic solutions like FORUM are absolutely necessary for telehealth.
We are now back to about 80%, almost back to normal. However, the patients we are no longer seeing in the clinic are those from overseas or international patients. Around 30% of our former patient load was made up of patients from overseas or Indonesia; at this time we are not seeing those patients.