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Changing trends in postoperative cataract care: impact of electronic patient records in optometrist-delivered shared care

Abstract

Background

This study evaluates a community optometrist-delivered postoperative care scheme in patients discharged from the hospital ophthalmology department following uncomplicated cataract surgery.

Aim

The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of electronic patient records (EPR) in facilitating co-managed cataract care.

Methods

We performed a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained Medisoft EPR database of postoperative cataract review data at a single centre, Sligo University Hospital (SUH), which serves a large and predominantly rural catchment area. All patients undergoing cataract surgery at SUH from October 2012 to September 2013 were included in this study. A total of 39 optometric practices, all with access to the Medisoft EPR software, participated in this pilot co-management scheme.

Results

One thousand four hundred and twenty-two cataract surgeries were performed in SUH (55% female, 45% male); 1011 patients (71%) were discharged to the community on the day of cataract surgery. Complete postoperative feedback (i.e. data on refraction, visual acuity and intraocular pressure) was available in 97% of these patients compared to 50% of patients reviewed in the hospital. Patients followed up by optometrists were twice as likely to have complete postoperative clinical details (RR = 1.934, 95% CI: 1.759–2.126, p < 0.0001). Overall, 65% of operations were performed on first eyes. Hospital doctors were more likely to document requirement for second eye surgery compared to community optometrists (RR = 1.434, 95% CI: 1.302–1.580, p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

Optometrists provided an excellent postoperative care service with superior postoperative feedback rates compared to hospital doctors. EPRs facilitate a postoperative shared-care pathway that is of high quality and efficiency with major economic advantages.

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Acknowledgements

Part of this work was presented at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) meeting in London, United Kingdom, September 2014, and at the Integrated Care Conference in Dublin, Ireland, October 2015.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to A. M. Mongan.

Ethics declarations

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Research Ethics Committee at Sligo University Hospital. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Mongan, A.M., Kerins, F., McKenna, B. et al. Changing trends in postoperative cataract care: impact of electronic patient records in optometrist-delivered shared care. Ir J Med Sci 187, 529–535 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-017-1694-9

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Keywords

  • Cataract
  • Electronic patient record
  • Optometrist
  • Postoperative
  • Shared care