A new publication and sentimental goodbye to glaucoma research

My most recent publication has been in the works for a long time but is one that makes me sentimental for a few reasons:

1.  This was my last research project during medical school and will most likely be my last one on glaucoma for a while.   Thanks to my co-authors, particularly my mentors Dr. Kuldev Singh and Dr. Shan Lin who believed in this project from the start and have been such supportive advisers over the years.

2.  This case study on the San Francisco General Hospital glaucoma clinic brings together various interests of mine: ophthalmology, health economics, health systems performance, and racial disparities in health care.  It also builds on my previous work at the Aravind Eye Care System in Tamil Nadu, India and drew on my background in health care consulting.

3.  Finally, this paper will hopefully make clinicians rethink the “blame” that is typically placed on patients for non-compliance and spur clinicians look internally to examine how they can improve the health care delivery system and the patient experience.

How often do we stop to ask patients why they were not able to take their medications or come for follow-up as instructed?  Did we really take the time to explain WHY they should spend hours out of their day to attend follow-up for a chronic disease that is often asymptomatic in its early stages?  Did language barriers—in spite of having a medical interpreter—influence the content of information communicated to the patient and thereby affect patients’ understanding of the disease and willingness to be compliant with treatment and follow-up?

Below is a free pdf version of the paper, which is hot off the press from the current issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences.  

Patient-related and System-related Barriers to Follow-up in a County Hospital Population (IOVS paper)

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