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Evolution of Telehealth: Patient Awareness and Education

The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety recently sponsored an event titled “Evolution of Telehealth: Patient Awareness and Education” on Thursday, September 27, 2018 in Washington, D.C. The event was part of The Hill’s event series and included a bipartisan group of lawmakers, industry professionals and vision and telehealth experts.

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Patient safety must remain utmost priority as technology evolves

(WASHINGTON) – The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance) today held an event titled “Evolution of Telehealth: Patient Awareness and Education” in Washington, DC, in conjunction with The Hill. Speakers and panelists continually advocated for synchronizing modern telehealth practices with a strong doctor-patient relationship – a win-win for patients who would see an
increase in health care access while also fostering better health outcomes.

“A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers, telehealth experts, and vision and health care professionals today made clear that even as technology makes us more connected, a strong doctor-patient relationship remains fundamental to treating existing medial ailments and improve health outcomes,” said Alliance Chairwoman Dr. Deanna Alexander, O.D. “The Alliance believes that increased usage of telemedicine can help increase access to healthcare, but technology must be used prudently and can’t be seen as a replacement for all in-person examinations and care.”

Panelists shared how regular consultation with a doctor is critically important to promoting patient health. In the vision health field, a staggering ninety-four percent of patients reported a change in their prescription since their last visit – meaning without a regular eye exam, the patient would have an incorrect prescription. Eye doctors can also determine over 270 underlying health conditions during an exam – like macular degeneration, diabetes, hypertension and glaucoma – making regular examinations crucial to preventative care.

Meanwhile, ill-advised online vision screenings increase the likelihood of poor-fitting lenses. A wrongly-fitted contact lens can cause blurred vision leading to blindness, open sores on the patient’s eyes, and bacterial and viral infections that could lead to vision loss.

Further, in-person consultations can assist with educating patients on proper vision health practices. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Prevention (CDC) has reported the troubling frequency of dangerous practices related to improper contact lens care, all of which can lead negative health conditions:

  • Fifty percent of patients wear contact lenses while sleeping
  • Fifty-five percent of patients improperly add contact solution to their cases, instead of emptying the case and using new, clean solution
  • Eighty-two percent of patients keep their contact lens cases longer than recommended

Event speakers included Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA), Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA), Mr. Peter Menziuso, President of North America for Johnson & Johnson Vision, and Co-Chair of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety, Dr. David Cockrell, Owner of Cockrell Eyecare Center in Stillwater, Okla., Susan Polan, Associate Executive Director, Public Affairs & Advocacy, American Public Health Association, Natasa Sokolovich, Executive Director, Telehealth, University of Pittsburgh and Samantha Zenlea, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, National Council on Aging.

Read the press release here. 

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Johnson & Johnson Vision Care North America President added to slate of speakers at telehealth event

(ARLINGTON, Va.) -  The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance) today announced an additional speaker at their event titled “Evolution of Telehealth: Patient Awareness and Education” on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 7:30 a.m. at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Peter Menziuso, President of North America Vision Care for Johnson & Johnson Vision, and Co-Chair of the Alliance, will provide the sponsor’s perspective at the event.

The event is part of The Hill’s event series and is open to the public and members of the press. Those interested in attending can RSVP here. The event is free to attend.

Other event speakers will include a bipartisan group of lawmakers, industry professionals, and vision and telehealth experts. The event will explore how telemedicine is making healthcare more efficient and effective, when in-person services might be more reliable and how to maintain a strong doctor-patient relationship as technology evolves.

A full list of speakers is as follows:

  • Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA)
  • Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA)
  • Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA)
  • Peter Menziuso, President of North America Vision Care for Johnson & Johnson Vision, and Co-Chair of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety
  • David Cockrell, Owner of Cockrell Eyecare Center in Stillwater, Okla.
  • Susan Polan, Associate Executive Director, Public Affairs & Advocacy, American Public Health Association
  • Natasa Sokolovich, Executive Director, Telehealth, University of Pittsburgh
  • Samantha Zenlea, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, National Council on Aging

Event details are as follows:

“Evolution of Telehealth: Patient Awareness and Education”

Thursday, September 27, 2018

7:30-9:30 a.m.

Washington Court Hotel Grand Ballroom

525 New Jersey Ave.

Washington, D.C. 20001

For more information on the event, please click here. Members of the press or the general public can RSVP for the event by clicking here.

The Alliance was founded in 2018 to advocate for patient safety and to protect and defend the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of personalized health care decision making. For more information, please visit http://www.patientsafetytoday.com/.

Read the press release here

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California Democrats Send Letter to FTC

California Democrats in the House of Representatives sent a letter to the Commissioner of the FTC, urging the commission to reconsider proposed changes to the Contact Lens Rule that would unfairly burden doctors of optometry without protecting patient safety. Read the full letter here

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Upcoming Discussion on Telemedicine and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Free event will be held in Washington, D.C. on September 27th; Event is open to the public, press

 

(ARLINGTON, Va.) - The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety today announced that it will sponsor an event titled “Evolution of Telehealth: Patient Awareness and Education” on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 7:30 a.m. at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event is part of The Hill’s event series and is open to the public and members of the press. Those interested in attending can RSVP here. The event is free to attend.

Speakers, which will include a bipartisan group of lawmakers, industry professionals and vision and telehealth experts, will explore how telemedicine is making healthcare more efficient and effective, when in-person services might be more reliable and how to maintain a strong doctor-patient relationship as technology evolves.

Speakers will include:

  • Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA)
  • Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA)
  • Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA)
  • Dr. David Cockrell, Owner of Cockrell Eyecare Center in Stillwater, Okla.
  • Susan Polan, Associate Executive Director, Public Affairs & Advocacy, American Public Health Association
  • Natasa Sokolovich, Executive Director, Telehealth, University of Pittsburgh
  • Samantha Zenlea, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, National Council on Aging

Event details are as follows:

“Evolution of Telehealth: Patient Awareness and Education”
Thursday, September 27, 2018
7:30-9:30 a.m.
Washington Court Hotel Grand Ballroom
525 New Jersey Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20001


For more information on the event, please click here. Members or the general public can RSVP for the event by clicking here.

The Alliance was founded in 2018 to advocate for patient safety and to protect and defend the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of personalized health care decision making. For more information, please visit www.PatientSafetyToday.com.

 

Full Document

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Senate Bill Calls Attention to Vision Health

(ARLINGTON, Va.) – The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance) today applauded the United States Senate, which last Thursday passed a bill that instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to examine eye health research findings to increase patients’ vision safety and to update its reports on the burdens of keratitis – inflammation of clear tissue on the front of the cornea – and contact lens-related infections.

“The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety has worked diligently with lawmakers to ensure patients have a more complete understanding of vision health facts and potential dangers from using contact lenses sold by online retailers that may not have been prescribed, verified and properly fit by an eye doctor,” said Alliance Chairwoman Dr. Deanna Alexander, O.D. “Our members and patient safety advocates are eager to continue working with lawmakers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and relevant agencies to ensure that patients have access to proper data to make informed decisions regarding their vision health.”

Specifically, the bill states:

“Vision Health.—Vision impairment often occurs as a co-morbidity with other chronic illness, such as chronic heart disease, stroke, depression, and smoking, at substantially higher rates than individuals without vision impairment. CDC is encouraged to apply previous CDC vision and eye health research findings to develop effective prevention and early detection interventions, and to incorporate vision and eye health promotion activities into existing State and national public health chronic disease initiatives, with an initial focus on early detection of diabetic retinopathy. In addition, the Committee encourages CDC to update its reports on the estimated burden of keratitis and contact lens-related infections.”

The bill passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support, 85-7.

The Alliance was founded in 2018 to advocate for patient safety and to protect and defend the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of personalized health care decision making. For more information, please visit www.PatientSafetyToday.com.

Full Document

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CDC Launches Eye Care Database

In an effort to improve eye health awareness, the CDC launched a new vision and eye health surveillance system and database. The new system gives the public tools to better understand vision care in America.

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Contact Lens Health Week is August 20-24

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in close collaboration with their partners, has organized Contact Lens Health Week as a strategy to increase public awareness and promote healthy contact lens wear and care

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Rep. Denham Letter to the FTC

Rep. Jeff Denham led 7 members of Congress in a letter to the FTC. The Congressmen emphasize the unfair burdens to doctors of optometry and lack of enforcement of patient safety concerns in the proposed changes in the Contact Lens Rule. Read the full text of the letter here. 

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Sen. Heitkamp Letter to the FTC

Senator Heidi Heitkamp sent a letter to the FTC raising concerns about online contact lens distributors not requiring customers to have a valid prescription. Senator Heitkamp outlines several of the dangers of this activity. The full text of the letter is below, and can be viewed here as well.

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