Purpose To determine current knowledge and opinion on revalidation, and methods of cataract surgery audit in Scotland and to outline the current and future possibilities for electronic cataract surgery audit.
Methods In 2010 we conducted a prospective, cross-sectional, Scottish-wide survey on revalidation knowledge and opinion, and cataract audit practice among all senior NHS ophthalmologists. Results were anonymised and recorded manually for analysis.
Results In all, 61% of the ophthalmologists surveyed took part. Only 33% felt ready to take part in revalidation, whereas 76% felt they did not have adequate information about the process. Also, 71% did not feel revalidation would improve patient care, but 85% agreed that cataract surgery audit is essential for ophthalmic practice. In addition, 91% audit their cataract outcomes; 52% do so continuously. Further, 63% audit their subspecialist surgical results. Only 25% audit their cataract surgery practice electronically, and only 12% collect clinical data using a hospital PAS system. Funding and system incompatibility were the main reasons cited for the lack of electronic audit setup. Currently, eight separate hospital IT patient administration systems are used across 14 health boards in Scotland.
Conclusion Revalidation is set to commence in 2012. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists will use cataract outcome audit as a tool to ensure surgical competency for the process. Retrospective manual auditing of cataract outcome is time consuming, and can be avoided with an electronic system. Scottish ophthalmologists view revalidation with scepticism and appear to have inadequate knowledge of the process. However, they strongly agree with the concept of cataract surgery audit. The existing and future electronic applications that may support surgical audit are commercial electronic records, web-based applications, centrally funded software applications, and robust NHS connections between community and hospital. Eye (2011) 25, 1471-1477; doi:10.1038/eye.2011.203; published online 26 August 2011