Brindhan Tharmarajah1,2, Ashish Agar1, Michael Hennessy1, Marleen Kong3
Background: The Outback Eye Service (OES) of the Prince of Wales Hospital began with the late Fred Hollows visiting Bourke in the 1970s, and has become a comprehensive ophthalmic fly-in service to the Indigenous & Non-Indigenous residents of multiple remote North Western NSW (NWNSW) communities. Past external qualitative evaluations of the OES have been favourable, but emphasise the need for a detailed clinical service review to gauge whether the eye care needs of the population are being met. This study aims to achieve this.
Benchmarking/standard: A cross-sectional audit of the OES’ 2015 clinical records and a comparison of the number of eye conditions treated and standards of eye care delivered by the OES, with the expected prevalence and published ophthalmic management standards of the major preventable eye diseases in NWNSW was performed.
Results: Preliminary data shows that 29 clinics and 9 operating lists were conducted by 13 OES ophthalmologists in 2015, with a total of 804 individuals seen over 1612 visits. 20 retinal laser procedures, 17 Nd:YAG lasers, 112 anti-VEGF injections, 230 OCTs, 81 HVFs, and 118 operations were performed, 107 of which were cataract extractions.
Recommendations: Preliminary analysis shows that the service is unable to provide sufficient annual HVF tests for glaucoma patients. Improvements including the replacement and maintenance of equipment would allow the service to more effectively meet the needs of the NWNSW population it serves.
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