Modeling the impact of COVID-19 on Retina Clinic Performance.

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COVID-19, a highly contagious respiratory virus, presents unique challenges to ophthalmology practice as a high-volume, office-based specialty. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many operational changes were adopted in our ophthalmology clinic to enhance patient and provider safety while maintaining necessary clinical operations. The aim of this study was to evaluate how measures adopted during the pandemic period affected retina clinic performance and patient satisfaction, and to model future clinic flow to predict operational performance under conditions of increasing patient and provider volumes.Clinic event timestamps and demographics were extracted from the electronic medical records of in-person retina encounters from March 15 to May 15, 2020 and compared with the same period in 2019 to assess patient flow through the clinical encounter. Patient satisfaction was evaluated by Press Ganey patient experience surveys obtained from randomly selected outpatient encounters. A discrete-events simulation was designed to model the clinic with COVID-era restrictions to assess operational performance under conditions of increasing patient and provider volumes.Retina clinic volume declined by 62 % during the COVID-19 health emergency. Average check-in-to-technician time declined 79 %, total visit length declined by 46 %, and time in the provider phase of care declined 53 %. Patient satisfaction regarding access nearly doubled during the COVID-period compared with the prior year (p 

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Authors: Karan Sethi, Emily S Levine, Shiyoung Roh, Jeffrey L Marx, David J Ramsey