Race, Gender, and Ethnicity Differences in Ocular Disease
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has a task force to address health equity in eyecare. This group will help address social determinants of health and medical care, access to care, and outcomes.15
Telehealth options will likely increase going forward, now that the COVID-19 pandemic has established its use. Telehealth can be a favored option to reach a greater percentage of patients who require care.16 However, physicians and their staffs must make sure that patients have access to the technology required for telehealth and that they are comfortable with it.
Including more patients from underrepresented minority groups in clinical trials can give a broader perspective on side effects and outcomes related to certain treatments.17
Personalized patient education and/or education via video can help increase awareness of health conditions and overcome barriers related to health literacy.11
Reminders regarding health appointments and help with scheduling follow-up are effective ways to ensure that patients maintain eye appointments.18
Adding eye exam lanes to community health centers can bring attention to the importance of vigilant eyecare.18
More eye doctors in “provider deserts” can help reach a broader range of patients who otherwise may not have access to eyecare.18 This approach also gives more patients a stable provider, which can improve adherence to appointments and care.