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The effectiveness of interventions for optometric referrals into the hospital eye service: A review

Carmichael, J; Abdi, S; Balaskas, K; Costanza, E; Blandford, A; (2023) The effectiveness of interventions for optometric referrals into the hospital eye service: A review. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics 10.1111/opo.13219. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Purpose: Ophthalmic services are currently under considerable stress; in the UK, ophthalmology departments have the highest number of outpatient appointments of any department within the National Health Service. Recognising the need for intervention, several approaches have been trialled to tackle the high numbers of false-positive referrals initiated in primary care and seen face to face within the hospital eye service (HES). In this mixed-methods narrative synthesis, we explored interventions based on their clinical impact, cost and acceptability to determine whether they are clinically effective, safe and sustainable. A systematic literature search of PubMed, MEDLINE and CINAHL, guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), was used to identify appropriate studies published between December 2001 and December 2022. Recent Findings: A total of 55 studies were reviewed. Four main interventions were assessed, where two studies covered more than one type: training and guidelines (n = 8), referral filtering schemes (n = 32), asynchronous teleophthalmology (n = 13) and synchronous teleophthalmology (n = 5). All four approaches demonstrated effectiveness for reducing false-positive referrals to the HES. There was sufficient evidence for stakeholder acceptance and cost-effectiveness of referral filtering schemes; however, cost comparisons involved assumptions. Referral filtering and asynchronous teleophthalmology reported moderate levels of false-negative cases (2%–20%), defined as discharged patients requiring HES monitoring. Summary: The effectiveness of interventions varied depending on which outcome and stakeholder was considered. More studies are required to explore stakeholder opinions around all interventions. In order to maximise clinical safety, it may be appropriate to combine more than one approach, such as referral filtering schemes with virtual review of discharged patients to assess the rate of false-negative cases. The implementation of a successful intervention is more complex than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and there is potential space for newer types of interventions, such as artificial intelligence clinical support systems within the referral pathway.

Type: Article
Title: The effectiveness of interventions for optometric referrals into the hospital eye service: A review
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/opo.13219
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/opo.13219
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Enhanced referrals, false-positive, independent prescribing, optometrists, optometry, primary eye care, referrals, teleophthalmology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10176314
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