Multiple strategy to encourage fundus examination in diabetics
Background: Based on the 2011 survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the prevalence of retinopathy in diabetics who seek medical attention was31.1% i.e. every 3 out of 10 diabetics had retinopathy. In 2014, there were 154,556 patients diagnosed with diabetes in Taoyuan City. In the same year, the examination rate for retinopathy was 33.08%.Since diabetics have high risks in retinopathy, early examination and treatment can reduce 50% of the risks of vision loss. However, due to the high cost of fundus cameras, lack of ophthalmologist in clinics that provided diabetic care and long waiting time for ophthalmologist at larger hospitals, the examination rate for retinopathy in diabetics are low.
- Promotion of “Regular Fundus Examination Service for Diabetics”. Non-governmental organizations had donated 12 fundus cameras to health centers in each suburb, making periodical community fundus examination service possible. Ophthalmologists were recruited to conduct the service for diabetics.
- Promotion of “Referral Plan for Fundus Examination in Diabetics”. Hospitals taking part in the Diabetes Shared Care Program provided healthcare education to promote awareness of the importance in annual retinopathy examination in diabetics. For every case referred to a nearby eye clinic, completed the examination, and continued to be followed up, Taoyuan City rewarded the hospital NTD 50.
In 2015 and 2016, 177 sessions of “Regular Fundus Examination Service for Diabetics” were hosted, serving 3,766 patients, of which 1,716 patients were found to have abnormal results. A total of 34 hospitals that provided diabetic healthcare had signed the contract to participate in the “Referral Plan for Fundus Examination in Diabetics”. A total of 59 eye clinics had attended 1,002 referred patients. The examination rate of retinopathy in Taoyuan City had increased from 33.08% in 2014 to 36.4% in 2016, showing an increase in the rate of fundus examination.
Conclusion: We hope fundus examination follow-up management to be implemented by the healthcare providers for diabetics could ensure early detection and treatment, and hence reduce the risks of vision loss, and preserve the quality of life and respect in diabetics.