Powered by Patients: Telehealth & Myopia Management

28th January 2022

Our first Powered by Patients webinar of 2022 saw host Dr. Mike Rothschild joined by Dr. Andrew Pucker to discuss telehealth in the specialty of myopia management. Dr. Pucker is an Assistant Professor and Chief of Research and Myopia Control at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

‘We’ve operated telehealth on and off since the pandemic began. We initially had to scramble together and use Zoom to keep patients on track. When we were able, we did try to transition fully back into the clinic, but we learned that patients really liked the telehealth opportunity so we gradually reintroduced it.

‘One of my reasons for going back to it was so that we could potentially have mom and dad, as well as even the whole family on the call at the same time. This hasn’t always been the case, but they at least have that option – if you know how the telephone game works, you’ll know you can tell one person a story and it just gets diluted. We’ve developed some educational materials to go with it, so having as much of the family there as possible helps create a consistent message.’

Catering for this wider family audience has been a significant factor in the clinic’s adoption of telehealth for initial consults, providing the ECPs with an opportunity to present to patients and address any questions they have.

‘A lot of the families we see are relatively educated as they’ve usually had friends that have done it, or they’ve come across our website. In the case of myopia management I think it’s important to have a website that shows you’re doing it, because you’re marketing to parents who will likely be millennials.’

Education therefore makes up a big part of adopting telehealth, but in Dr. Pucker’s clinic, this education has extended to front desk staff as well as the patients.
‘What we’re doing in the myopia management clinic is different to your typical contact lens or paediatrics department and the novice front desk staff member, and patients in particular, may not know the difference.

‘I’ve created an introductory video for all our staff for them to review and there are standard education materials we can hand out to patients as well. As a specialty clinic, these staff having this knowledge allows them to be a point of contact that basic questions can be referred to in order to better manage the ECPs’ time.’

You can hear more of Dr. Pucker’s thoughts on telehealth and myopia management by watching the webinar on-demand below.