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Adventist Health Expands Program for Diabetic Retinopathy Screening
Western U.S. Health Nonprofit Seizes Opportunity to Treat the Whole Patient by Integrating Advanced Screening Technology in 37 Hospitals and Clinics
ROSEVILLE, Calif., Oct. 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adventist Health—a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii—is proud to announce the success and extension of its retinopathy screening practice for diabetic patients in rural communities. Supporting Adventist Health’s initiative to treat the “whole” patient and deliver exceptional care, the organization installed the Welch Allyn® RetinaVue® 100 Imager in eight rural clinic locations throughout the central California region—offering its patients early retinopathy detection screenings during their regular primary care appointments and eliminating the need to travel far from home for this kind of specialty exam. Due to the success of its screenings, Adventist Health plans to roll out the program to the entire system and all of the California Central Valley network medical offices, a total of 45 medical office locations, by the end of 2018, further addressing the health and wellness needs of those living in rural locations.
“Retinopathy is a condition that affects the blood vessels in the retina of the eye, frequently experienced by those living with diabetes. It can cause severe vision impairment or even complete vision loss, but typically doesn’t present symptoms until the vision has already been compromised. Since deterioration is not immediately apparent, those with diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2, are encouraged to visit an ophthalmologist every year for screening and care,” says Raul Ayala, MD at Adventist Health. “However, that can be challenging in rural areas such as those where Adventist Health hospitals and clinics are located. With a high demand for ophthalmologists but only a few of these medical professionals in rural areas, access is limited. Those with diabetes typically schedule regular primary care appointments every quarter or six months, so adding a retinopathy screening once a year is a significant step forward in the overall care of these patients.”
The RetinaVue® 100 Imager is simple for the medical assistant (MA) to operate, and the screening is easily done while the patient is waiting for their PCP to see them. After the screening, the MA sends images to a remote ophthalmologist, who provides a summary of findings within 24 hours.
“Due to the remote nature of this work, an ophthalmologist is able to free up time to see a larger number of patients while patients are able to receive timely treatment that can create a world of difference in their eyesight,” says Jessica Rodriguez, Administrative Director, Adventist Health.
The Adventist Health - Central Valley Network serves over 16,800 diabetic patients and in the last nine months, the RetinaVue® screening has been used in 300 visits at select Adventist Health clinics in the communities of Hanford, Avenal, Corcoran, Caruthers, Lemoore and Riverdale. Adventist Health doctors reported that 20 percent of these patients were experiencing some level of retinopathy which required further monitoring and care. The Welch Allyn® RetinaVue® 100 Imager can also be used to detect glaucoma and other eye-related issues.
For more information about Adventist Health, visit www.adventisthealth.org.
About ADVENTIST HEALTH: Adventist Health is a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides care in hospitals, clinics, home care agencies, hospice agencies and joint-venture retirement centers in both rural and urban communities. Our compassionate and talented team of 35,000 includes associates, medical staff physicians, allied health professionals and volunteers driven in pursuit of one mission: living God's love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. Together, we are transforming the American healthcare experience with an innovative, yet timeless, whole-person focus on physical, mental, spiritual and social healing. For more information, visit www.adventisthealth.org.
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