|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2012 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 75-76
Comparison of patient satisfaction with services of vision centers in rural areas of Andhra Pradesh, India
Vilas Kovai1, Gullapalli N Rao1, Brien Holden2, Krishnaiah Sannapaneni1, Shubhra K Bhattacharya3, Rohit Khanna3
1 International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye Care - LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India; Vision Cooperative Research Centre Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia
2 Vision Cooperative Research Centre Pty Ltd.; International Centre for Eyecare Education; Institute for Eye Research; Sydney, Australia
3 International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye Care - LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
|Date of Web Publication||30-Dec-2011|
International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye Care - LV Prasad Eye Institute, LV Prasad Marg, Road No. 2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500 034, India
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Kovai V, Rao GN, Holden B, Sannapaneni K, Bhattacharya SK, Khanna R. Comparison of patient satisfaction with services of vision centers in rural areas of Andhra Pradesh, India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2012;60:75-6
We thank Gogate for showing interest in the article  and sharing some important questions.
The Vision Center Services are standardized (in terms of uniformity in screening protocol, cost of spectacles, and policy of no charge for screening) across all vision centers irrespective of location and provided free of charge for all patients.  The technician's clinical skills across the vision centers are rated as moderate to excellent by evaluators. , Using a criteria presented in [Table 1] of the paper, four vision centers were selected in the study.  The selected vision centers represent two different village settings (big and small villages) and two different experiences with regard to vision center's performance. , Therefore it is a clear indication that there is no selection bias with regard to the selection of vision centers.
The Vision Technicians' skills related to how to manage the vision center's work, how to communicate to patients, service delivery with personal care etc. varied and the study published in IJO has attempted to see whether these aspects are associated with difference in the levels of patient satisfaction.  The authors agree that it would be interesting to note if the vision technicians who have been successful in bigger villages can show the same performance in small villages.
The authors agree that the services of vision centers in small villages should not be underestimated since they are equally valuable to the patients of remote villages. The vision technicians who serve in remote places should be part-time eye care professionals for the center-based screening activities and partly in villages for general awareness, preschool screening at Anganwadis, school screening and building dialogue with the 3 'A's: Anganwadi workers, Auxiliary nurse midwife and Asha workers to improve awareness which would optimize the work of trained vision technicians. This effort from vision technicians is now happening in Andhra Pradesh, which in turn helps developing the habit of routine eye examination among the people living in remote rural areas.
The delivery time of spectacles at the vision centers needs to be accelerated. Providing trained human resources and necessary equipment such as frame heater and adjustment pliers to handle a group of five vision centers can facilitate it. There is a need for a dedicated optical lab and simplified ordering procedure to meet the demand for spectacles at the vision centers without over-burdening the capacity of the service centers. The other alternative could be to outsource the fitting and grinding of lenses to local opticians. This is beneficial for both -- the opticians get fee for their services for fitting the lenses and the patients of vision centers get the spectacles on time. Moreover, the patients who visit the optical shops can be assured of referral facility if they are diagnosed with blinding conditions. Thus, waging the war on avoidable blindness may be achieved through partnership as mentioned above. In conclusion, this study data on patient satisfaction with vision centers in big and small villages can be a method for quality improvement of vision center services.
| References|| |
Kovai V, Rao GN, Holden B, Sannapaneni K, Bhattacharya SK, Khanna R. Comparison of patient satisfaction with services of vision centers in rural areas of Andhra Pradesh, India. Indian J Ophthlmol 2010;58:407-13.
Kovai V, Rao GN, Holden B, Sannapaneni K, Bhattacharya SK, Marmamulla S, et al
. An estimate of patient costs and benefits of the new primary eye care model utilization through vision centers in Andhra Pradesh, India. Asia Pac J Public Health 2010;22:426-35.