Incremental advances in the field of retinal genetics have transformed our understanding of inherited retinal disorders and have led to the development of powerful diagnostic tests and promising gene-based therapies. Despite this, successful integration of these developments into routine healthcare is frequently ineffective. Providing robust evidence of benefit can accelerate the implementation of clinical genetic interventions. For example, the adoption of a genetic test is much more likely when the test’s clinical utility (i.e. its ability to influence management and health outcomes) has been clearly demonstrated. However, accruing such evidence for rare conditions like inherited retinal disorders is challenging. Conducting sufficiently powered studies requires both efficient study designs and large-scale, international collaboration. Reaching all populations and as many affected individuals as possible is key. Equally important are efforts to precisely and consistently capture phenotypic information, including natural history data. This article summarizes some of the current obstacles to implementation and discusses approaches to overcome these barriers.