Strengthening the referral Chain and providing one window diabetes eye care facility to people with Type-2 Diabetes: A six-year follow-up study from Pakistan
Objective: To report the results of implementation of two-pronged system for strengthening of referral and receiving end of referral chain for people with Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) at a tertiary eye care hospital in Karachi.
Methods: This observational, cross sectional study was conducted from the data collected in “Strengthening Pakistan’s response to Diabetic Retinopathy” project. Peripheral referral was improved through community awareness camps (n=48), refreshing knowledge of primary healthcare professionals (PHCP) and conducting retinopathy screening camps (n=85) in the community. T2DM patients with best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) <6/18 or had retinopathy sign on screening were referred to tertiary center. The receiving end of the referral was improved by establishing “one window facility” at tertiary eye care center. Facility consisted of eight stations starting from registration, visual assessment, fundus photographs, consultation with ophthalmologist, anthropometry measurement, consultation with diabetologist to finally meeting with diabetes educator. At every station, patient’s information was directly entered in HIMS software.
Results: A total of 50,595 patients attended tertiary center over six years. Among all 34685 (68.5%) were new registration and 15910 (31.4%) were follow ups. During first year (2014-15) out of total registered individuals with DM, newly registered were 4414 (89.5%) and 518 (10.5%) were follow-ups. In the final year (2019-20) new cases registered reached to 62% (n= 7916) with 38% (n=4852) follow-ups. Patients referred by PHCP increased from 6.5% in 2014-15 to 43.7% in 2019-20. An increased uptake of all treatment modalities for retinopathy like laser (increased by 16.76%), intra-vitreal injections (by 14.72%) and vitrectomy (by 51.47%) were also observed.
Conclusion: Implementation of two prong system resulted in improved service uptake, better referral system, enhanced follow-ups and increased intervention uptake.
How to cite this:
Ahsan S, Memon MS, Fahim MF, Mahmood T, Sheikh SA. Strengthening the referral Chain and providing one window diabetes eye care facility to people with Type-2 Diabetes: A six-year follow-up study from Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci. 2021;37(7):---------. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.37.7.3946
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