Auditing service delivery in glaucoma clinics using visual field records: a feasibility study

Stephen R. Kelly, Susan R. Bryan, John M. Sparrow, David P. Crabb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Objective: This study aimed to demonstrate that large-scale visual field (VF) data can be extracted from electronic medical records (EMRs) and to assess the feasibility of calculating metrics from these data that could be used to audit aspects of service delivery of glaucoma care.

Method and analysis: Humphrey visual field analyser (HFA) data were extracted from Medisoft EMRs from five regionally different clinics in England in November 2015, resulting in 602 439 records from 73 994 people. Target patients were defined as people in glaucoma clinics with measurable and sustained VF loss in at least one eye (HFA mean deviation (MD) outside normal limits ≥2 VFs). Metrics for VF reliability, stage of VF loss at presentation, speed of MD loss, predicted loss of sight years (bilateral VF impairment) and frequency of VFs were calculated.

Results: One-third of people (34.8%) in the EMRs had measurable and repeatable VF loss and were subject to analyses (n=25 760 patients). Median (IQR) age and presenting MD in these patients were 71 (61, 78) years and -6 (-10, -4) dB, respectively. In 19 264 patients with >4 years follow-up, median (IQR) MD loss was -0.2 (-0.8, 0.3) dB/year and median (IQR) intervals between VF examinations was 11 (8, 16) months. Metrics predicting loss of sight years and reliability of examinations varied between centres (p<0.001).

Conclusion: This study illustrates the feasibility of assessing aspects of health service delivery in glaucoma clinics through analysis of VF databases. Proposed metrics could be useful for blindness prevention from glaucoma in secondary care centres.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000352
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open Ophthalmology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019


  • audit
  • electronic medical records
  • glaucoma
  • perimetry
  • visual fields

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