Vol. 46 No.2 Original Article PDF

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Telemedicine in Ophthalmology in a Tertiary Hospital: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Angelica Antoinette C. Vega, MD, Sherman O. Valero, MD, DPBO 

Department of Ophthalmology, Makati Medical Center, Makati City 


Correspondence: Angelica Antoinette C. Vega, MD  
Department of Ophthalmology, Makati Medical Center 
2 Amorsolo Street, 1229 Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines  
e-mail: angecvega@yahoo.com 

Disclaimer: The authors have no proprietary or financial interests to disclose.


Objective: The purposes of this study were to (1) describe the perceptions and practices of telemedicine among ophthalmologists in a tertiary hospital; and (2) evaluate knowledge, satisfaction, and perceived patient outcomes in using telemedicine to provide eye care in a time of a global pandemic. 

Methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study using a self-administered online survey. Thirty-two (32)  ophthalmology consultants and residents-in-training in a single tertiary, private hospital who practiced telemedicine participated in this study. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize the data. Responses to open-ended questions were analyzed thematically. 

Results: The respondents were somewhat knowledgeable (75%) and somewhat confident (72%) in using  telemedicine. Respondents strongly conveyed their satisfaction with telemedicine outcomes (56%). Majority also  believed that their patients were satisfied with teleconsults (69%). Majority agreed that telemedicine can be effective  for select types of care [i.e., chronic condition management (66%), follow- up care (62%), and acute non-emergency  care (53%)]. Telemedicine also proved to be a boon during a pandemic due to its convenience (59%) and efficiency  (63%). However, it is limited by the imperative need for face-to-face consults (69%) and technological constraints  (44%).

Conclusions: Telemedicine was perceived to be a valuable solution during the present pandemic due to its  convenience, safety, and ability to provide remote diagnosis and management of urgent and non-urgent cases.  Although the current practice of telemedicine still has plenty of room for improvements in the standardization of  training, connectivity and technological constraints, and addressing liability concerns, it can serve as an adjunct to  face-to face consultations to provide optimal care for patients.  

Keywords: Telemedicine, COVID-19, E-health, Teleophthalmology, Pandemic


Philipp J Ophthalmol 2021;46:72-81