Spectrios Institute for Low Vision is one of the first low vision clinics in the country to launch a telehealth program in the wake of COVID-19 closures. While the Deicke House of Hope has been closed, the Spectrios family – patients – will be able to access the great services and care the mission provides via telehealth.
“Keeping everyone safe is our first priority, but addressing the critical needs of our patients is our mission,” says Dr. Tracy Williams, Executive Director. “During the pandemic, we knew our patients were suffering and wanted to find a way to continue to offer them the hope and support they would receive during an in-person appointment.”
A clinical packet is mailed to every telehealth patient and each appointment addresses the full continuum of care: the head, heart and eyes. “We are able to provide a high level of service just like at the Deicke House of Hope,” says Dr. Rachel Park, Clinical Director. “We are really working hard to ensure all our patients’ needs are met during the telehealth visit and important clinical data can be determined.”
Spectrios Institute’s telehealth services go beyond vision services. Occupational therapy is also necessary and provides training to adjust to vision loss to sustain independence in daily activities like cooking, cleaning, dressing and work. “We are taking inventories of daily activities and setting goals just like we did in person,” says Katrina Stratton, Occupational Therapist. “It has been a great experience for our patients to be able to create strategies to deal with the isolation and social distancing that are now part of our new normal.”
“The response from patients has been extremely positive and appreciative,” says Dr. Williams. “So many patients comment that other than being in-person, it is just like a normal appointment. Some have requested that we continue the telehealth services after we are able to see patients in the House of Hope. It is also a great way for us to reach patients that have difficulty driving or are unable to make it to the clinic.”
The Spectrios clinical team has also been working with other low vision clinics across the country to share learning and clinical protocols. We have been in touch with the University of Michigan, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, to name a few. “Telehealth is here to stay,” says Dr. Williams, “and we are excited to be a leader in providing this program to our low vision patients.”
You can learn more about the telehealth program on our website at Spectrios.org/telehealth. If you would like to schedule a telehealth appointment please give us a call at 630-690-7115.