Promoting best practice clinical care
A clinical audit helps healthcare practitioners discover the strengths and weaknesses of their current practices so they can then improve the care they provide their patients.
Optometrists play a key role in providing clinical care to people with AMD, particularly early in the disease journey when advice about lifestyle risk factors like diet and smoking can slow progression of the disease.
Although there are no formal requirements for clinical audit among Australian optometrists, there is a growing recognition of its value in improving practice – especially when it comes to sight-threatening conditions like AMD.
This lack of optometric audit tools is why MDFA awarded Associate Professor Laura Downie a research grant to develop an innovative auditing platform called the Macular Degeneration Clinical Care Audit Tool (MaDCCAT) to assess the eye care received by people with AMD. This is work that can lead to immediate improvements in the quality of clinical care.
Using the MaD-CCAT, A/Prof Downie led a study that asked participants to audit their clinical records for patients with or at risk of AMD over a three-month period and identify areas for improvement. They were then required to audit their care of a new set of patients over another three-month period.
The project engaged 25 optometrists in five states across Australia, and analysed data from more than 600 unique AMD patient clinical records.
The study showed that the MaD-CCAT improved clinical record documentation and several aspects of care, particularly how often optometrists asked patients about modifiable risk factors like smoking (21% to 58%), diet (11% to 29%) and nutritional supplementation (20% to 51%).
Without a cure for AMD, reducing the risk of a person developing sight-threatening late-stage of the disease is critical. This research shows that the MaD-CCAT significantly enhances optometrists’ knowledge and uptake of best practice AMD care.
This article first appear in our publication 10 Years of Impact: Reflecting on the impact of investing into macular disease research.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of MDFA’s Research Grants Program, this free publication introduces you to all the talented researchers your donations have funded since 2011.Download
Posted: 6 July 2021