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UCLA CTSI-Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) Projects
Principal Investigators: Lauren Daskivich (DHS), Carol Mangione (UCLA)
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans, and among Los Angeles Latinos—the ethnic majority of patients in the Los Angeles County (LAC) safety net—the prevalence of DR is ~50%. Despite evidence that early detection and treatment can prevent blindness from DR, a significant number of persons with diabetes in our system fail to receive annual screening examinations and/or sight-saving treatments due to lack of access to specialty care. To date, the effect of a system level intervention on improving access to eye care and definitive treatment for diabetic retinopathy in an urban medically underserved, or safety net, population has not been evaluated. The objective of this project is to evaluate the impact of teleretinal screening on access to specialty ophthalmic care for diabetic patients in LAC who need monitoring or treatment for diabetic retinopathy. We propose a pre-post analysis of the LAC teleretinal screening implementation, and we aim to evaluate the number of patients screened for diabetic retinopathy, the number presenting for timely ophthalmic follow-up care and treatment, and the cost of the program.