Health screenings at Wisconsin hospital up 35% after implementing telehealth program

Mile Bluff Medical Center in Mauston, Wis., has seen a 35 percent increase in diabetic eye screenings after implementing a telehealth program with UW Health three years ago.

Through the program, MBMC patients can have a retinal photo taken at the facility, which is then digitally transferred to an eye specialist at UW Health in Madison, Wis., to review. The UW Health providers are able to determine whether an MBMC patient presents signs of early damage that if left untreated could lead to blindness.

After the teleopthalmology diabetic eye screening, patients who are flagged with issues can visit their local physicians for follow up care, rather than travel 75 miles to UW Health. Since implementing the program, more than 340 patients have completed an eye health screening.

Yao Liu, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Madison-based University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, developed the telehealth program. Dr. Liu is currently working to expand the services across the state and has received additional funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute.

More articles on telehealth:
Indiana hospital to provide telemedicine care to local elementary school students
Georgia, Cisco to expand statewide telemedicine clinics
SSM Health launches virtual visits in 4 states

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