Vision-Saving Quality Improvement Program Expands to Wisconsin, Illinois, and Southern US Health Systems

Vision-Saving Quality Improvement Program Expands to Wisconsin, Illinois, and Southern US Health Systems
Contact: Matt Miller
Phone: 646-336-6495
Fax: 646-336-6497
Email: [email protected]

NEW YORK (12/19/2022) – DKBmed, LLC is partnering with Bellin Health, Community Health Systems (CHS), and the Order of Saint Francis HealthCare (OSF) to implement technology and education to identify patients who have retinopathy related to diabetes. This quality improvement (QI) initiative, called Saving Sight: Vision Protection and Blindness Prevention in Diabetes, has been previously implemented with success at several health care systems nationwide, including Lancaster General Health, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Florida, Gainesville.

These health systems were selected because of their reach and impact on their communities. Bellin, CHS, and OSF serve a large percentage of the diabetic patients in areas of high diabetes prevalence and low screening rates for diabetic retinopathy. Additionally, OSF provides care to patients regardless of a patient’s ability to pay or any other social or economic status.

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of visual impairment in working-age adults and is a common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. When diagnosed and treated, vision can be preserved. Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed based on visual inspection of the retina. At these health systems, clinicians will use a retinal camera equipped with an artificial intelligence (AI)-based diagnostic algorithm to identify patients with undiagnosed diabetic retinopathy. When the AI system detects diabetic retinopathy, the patient is referred to a local ophthalmologist for a complete evaluation and, if warranted, treatment.

In addition to deploying cameras, Saving Sight includes a one-hour educational component geared towards primary care providers. The education covers pathophysiology, risk factors, and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

“Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of visual problems and blindness. Up to 20% of people with diabetes have retinopathy at the time their diabetes is diagnosed, but they do not yet know it. Treatments are very effective at preserving vision, which is why it’s so important for us to identify people with retinopathy as early as possible,” said Primary Care Physician Dr. Scott Musick. “But challenges get in the way of diabetic eye screening for many patients, and this new technology will help overcome some of these challenges. Our patients with diabetes will be screened for retinopathy right in their primary care office--the same place they receive treatment for their diabetes.”

At Lancaster General Health, the pilot location of the program (originally educated 1,865 clinicians and led to over 8,900 patients receiving screening for diabetic eye disease by primary care providers. Building on previous success, this initiative will be deployed across all three health systems and expects to reach almost 1,000 clinicians and 75,000 patients with diabetes.

“Vision loss related to diabetic retinopathy often happens so gradually that the patient doesn’t realize it is occurring,” said OSF HealthCare Vice President of Primary Care Services Dr. Mark Meeker. “But with early detection, we can stop or slow progression and help prevent blindness. I am so pleased we have been able to implement this technology for the benefit of the patients we serve.”

About Bellin Health

Bellin Health,, is an integrated healthcare delivery system based in Green Bay, Wis. It has served people in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1908. Bellin Health has more than 5,000 employees and is known for its emphasis on preventive healthcare and is a leader in cardiac, orthopedics, sports medicine, digestive health, mental health, and primary care medicine. It is comprised of Bellin Hospital, Bellin Psychiatric Center, 29 Bellin Health primary care physician clinics, and retail health clinics known as Bellin Health FastCare. Bellin operates Bellin Health Oconto Hospital, a critical care access hospital in Oconto, Wis., Bellin Fitness, Bellin Health Home Care Equipment and Bellin College. The health system also belongs to Bellin Health Partners, a clinically integrated network that includes Bellin Health, its employed providers and independent affiliated providers and Holy Family Memorial in Manitowoc, Wis., and its employed providers.

About Community Health Systems, Inc.

Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest healthcare companies. The Company’s affiliates are leading providers of healthcare services, developing and operating healthcare delivery systems in 47 distinct markets across 16 states. The Company’s subsidiaries own or lease 81 affiliated hospitals with approximately 13,000 beds and operate more than 1,000 sites of care, including physician practices, urgent care centers, freestanding emergency departments, occupational medicine clinics, imaging centers, cancer centers and ambulatory surgery centers. Shares in Community Health Systems, Inc. are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CYH.” The Company’s headquarters are located in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb south of Nashville. More information about the Company can be found on its website at

About OSF HealthCare

OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, based in Peoria, Illinois consisting of 15 hospitals in Illinois and Michigan, employing nearly 24,000 Mission Partners.

About DKBmed

DKBmed is an integrated continuing medical education company operated by an experienced team of medical education experts. DKBmed provides health care professionals with effective medical education that closes identified knowledge and practice gaps to improve patient health.

Working with accredited providers and other partners, DKBmed develops innovative educational programs and quality improvement (QI) initiatives, bringing new learning methodologies to the CME landscape. DKBmed has become a leader in QI in the independent medical education space with QI projects in Pain Management, HIV, Depression, Influenza, and Diabetic Eye Disease. DKBmed was also an early adopter of case scenarios with real patients and live actors, TED/DKBmed Talks, 3D animation, webcasts, podcasts, and smart phone applications for clinicians and patients. These forward-thinking approaches enable health care professionals to learn and access educational programs in a manner that is most convenient and appropriate for them.

DKBmed’s programs are accessible through the company’s website ( They reach more than 150,000 health care professionals in primary care and in a variety of specialties and disease states including: HIV, COVID-19, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, influenza, dermatology, retinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, COPD, asthma, multiple sclerosis, pain management, depression and viral hepatitis (HBV, HCV) and oncology.