Quality Improvement Program Expanded to Florida to Prevent Blindness Caused by Diabetes

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MANHATTAN, N.Y. - Jan. 10, 2020 - PRLog -- DKBmed, LLC and University of Florida (UF) Health have announced a partnership to develop a quality improvement program designed to improve screening for diabetes-related eye diseases by primary care providers within the University of Florida health system. The program, called Optimizing Disease Management (ODM) Diabetic Macular Edema (DME): University of Florida (ODMUF.DKBmed.com), aims to increase screening rates for diabetic retinopathy (DR) and DME among patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Primary care providers at UF will be able to quickly and seamlessly send images of a patient's eye to an ophthalmologist who can review the images and determine if diabetic eye disease is present.

The program with UF Health is the third ODM DME quality improvement program that DKBmed has led. Previous iterations include partnerships with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and University of Kentucky. "The partnership with DKBmed has been a good one," said Dr. Christian Hermansen, Program Director for ODM: Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. "We have created both CME to educate providers and video content to educate the general public on the need for retinopathy screening. Since we partnered with DKBmed, we've uncovered 284 patients with diabetic retinopathy, almost 30% of those screened. It's gratifying to see this program have a real positive impact on people's lives."

Nearly one in 10 people in the US has diabetes; a prevalence rate that is expected to rise to one in three by 2050. In Florida, over 2 million adults are diagnosed with diabetes. DR is the leading cause of visual impairment among working-age people in the US and affects nearly half of all patients with diabetes. Despite the high prevalence of diabetes and the associated risk of eye disease, screening is rarely available in primary care.

"Primary care clinicians are the first line of diabetes treatment, but many of them aren't aware of screening procedures or lack the technology," said Sonal Tuli, MD, Professor and Chair of the University of Florida Department of Ophthalmology. "By delivering this screening technology and education to primary care providers, the barriers are mitigated, hopefully leading to more patients receiving eye testing."

This program targets 13 primary care practices in the University of Florida Health system, reaching 9,000 patients and 170 clinicians.

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