Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Quantity and Characteristics of Ophthalmology Consults

Jennifer Tingley, Jenna Tauber, Tobin Thuma, Jee Young Moon, Anne Barmettler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To assess the COVID-19 exposure risk to consulting ophthalmologists and the pandemic effect on consultations at one of the most impacted hospital systems in New York. Methods: In a retrospective, cross-sectional study, ophthalmology consult notes and COVID-19 test results were collected from the electronic medical record from February to May in 2019 and 2020. Results: Of 2,215 total notes analyzed, consults decreased from 1,374 to 841 between years (p = 0.0002). In 2020, 22.5% of all consults were COVID tested and 2.4% were positive within 2 weeks of in-person evaluation. In 2020, 1.8% of consults were electronic. Ventilated patients increased between years (7.5% to 10.8%; p = 0.04). Conclusions: Although consultations decreased during the Spring 2020 peak, the majority (98.2%) remained as in-person evaluations. While few patients tested COVID positive, this likely reflects the limited availability of testing early in the pandemic. Consulting ophthalmologists remained at high risk of COVID-19 exposure during the pandemic peak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1547-1551
Number of pages5
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022


  • COVID-19
  • consultation
  • ophthalmology
  • telemedicine
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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