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Community optometrist-led post-operative cataract care: how many patients re-present to the hospital ophthalmic department?

Authors
  • O’Regan, Amy1
  • McGlacken-Byrne, Aisling1
  • Chetty, Shivona1
  • Mullaney, Paul1
  • 1 Sligo University Hospital,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Irish Journal of Medical Science
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Jan 25, 2021
Pages
1–5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11845-021-02514-5
PMID: 33495971
PMCID: PMC7832417
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Background Cataract surgery represents a significant workload for ophthalmologists in Ireland. Post-operative shared care with community optometrists can reduce the need for hospital follow-up appointments. Aims Eight years after the introduction of a shared-care pathway, we wished to quantify the proportion of patients discharged to the community for post-operative follow-up, and the number that re-present to the hospital due to cataract-related issues. Methods We collected data on all patients who underwent cataract surgery in our centre over a three month period. Electronic patient records were used to establish whether the patient was discharged on the day of surgery, and whether they re-attended the department post-operatively. Post-operative complications were recorded. Results 394 cataract procedures were carried out over the three months. 369 patients were discharged to an optometrist for their post-operative care. Of those, 38 were re-referred or re-presented to the hospital ophthalmic service. 21 of these had a post-operative complication. Complications included seven cases of post-operative uveitis, 5 patients with cystoid macular oedema, one retinal detachment and one retained lens fragment. Conclusions Community optometrist-led post-operative care for uncomplicated patients is an effective way of reducing the workload associated with cataract surgery. Re-referral pathways must be in place to facilitate timely management of post-operative complications.

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