American Academy of Ophthalmology offers new protocol, performance improvement program
SAN FRANCISCO—The American Academy of Ophthalmology is offering ophthalmologists two new tools to help members avoid wrong site or wrong IOL errors. The tools include a new protocol with a simple checklist to follow prior to and the day of surgery as well as a new CME course.
“Using a consistent pre-operative and operative protocol can help reduce preventable surgical errors,” said H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, executive vice president of the Academy. “While wrong site and wrong IOL errors are extremely uncommon, we wanted to take good practices and make them even better.”
The new protocol was developed by the Academy’s Wrong Site/Wrong IOL Task Force, which was established by the Academy, with the assistance of the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) and the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC). Also helping in the development of the protocol were nine subspecialty societies and other ophthalmic organizations*. The protocol outlines suggestions to help surgeons evaluate their own system to minimize preventable surgical errors. In addition, the protocol includes a simple checklist for doctors to use pre-operatively and in the operating room. Laminated copies of the checklist have been mailed to the Academy’s membership in the U.S. Additional copies can be downloaded at the Academy Web site.
The CME activity is part of the Academy’s new Performance Improvement program on the O.N.E.™ Network and is designed to help ophthalmologists avoid preventable errors. The performance improvement activities outline the processes, measures, practice assessments and performance evaluations that should be made and how to apply them to their practices. Performance improvement activities are divided by subject, such as Wrong Site/Wrong IOL, and are provided as a member benefit.
The online activity takes place over several months. Ophthalmologists taking the course will learn about specific performance measures to reduce wrong site/wrong IOL surgery, retrospectively assess their practice, apply these measures prospectively in their practice, and re-evaluate their performance.
“All ophthalmologists strive to deliver high-quality patient care,” said Richard L. Abbott, MD, chairman of the board of OMIC. “This course will provide them with yet another way to help them meet that commitment.”
*Joining in the development of the protocol were: American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus; American Glaucoma Society; American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery; American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses; American Uveitis Society; Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology; Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society; and Retina Society.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons—Eye M.D.s—with more than 27,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections, and injuries, and perform eye surgery. To find an Eye M.D. in your area, visit the Academy's Web site at www.aao.org.