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Mass Eye and Ear Sets Standards of Transparency and Accountability in Ophthalmology

In This Article

  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear is one of the few academic hospitals in the country that publicly reports its ophthalmology quality measures and clinical outcomes across all subspecialty areas
  • Published annually in the Quality and Outcomes Report, these data provide benchmarks within the field so that ophthalmologists at Mass Eye and Ear—and nationwide—can achieve the best patient care possible
  • Analyzing outcomes by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic factors can help to address racial and social disparities in health care

Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Massachusetts General Hospital leads the nation in developing and implementing ophthalmology outcomes measures to set standards of transparency and accountability in the field. This commitment is part of our overarching goal to improve the care and experience of each and every patient. Mass Eye and Ear recently published the 11th annual Quality and Outcomes Report, detailing patient outcomes data through 2019.

Unlike other health care specialties, there is a lack of quality and outcomes reporting in the field of ophthalmology.

"By studying outcomes, we can improve the patient experience, improve the health of populations and potentially reduce the cost of health care," says Alice C. Lorch, MD, MPH, associate chief for quality for the Department of Ophthalmology at Mass Ear and Ear.

Highlights from the 2020 Outcomes Report

Exceptional Trauma and Urgent Care

Mass Eye and Ear is the only 24/7 Emergency Department (ED) in New England that is dedicated to treating urgent and emergent eye conditions. In 2019, 15,997 patients visited the ED for a range of eye problems, including open globe injuries, retinal detachment and corneal ulcers.

  • During the 2019 calendar year, 109 patients had 110 open globe injuries repaired at Mass Eye and Ear. Of these 109 patients, just 1 (0.9%) developed endophthalmitis postoperatively
  • Clinicians repaired 94.5% of presenting open globe injuries within 24 hours after presentation to Mass Eye and Ear. Multiple studies indicate that repairing open globe injuries within 12 to 24 hours after injury can prevent endophthalmitis
  • The Ocular Trauma Score is used for prognosis after open globe injuries. When outcomes are analyzed using this scoring system, our patients on average have expected better outcomes. Out of the 39 patients who presented with ocular trauma scores of 3 to 5 (indicating moderate injury), 84.6% (33/39 eyes) had final visual acuities ranging from 20/50 to 20/15

Consistent Success with Cataract Surgery

Mass Eye and Ear/Mass General is consistently recognized as one of the nation's top hospitals for eye care, ranging from routine to highly specialized care. Notably, our clinicians have consistently met or exceeded international benchmarks for successful cataract surgery.

  • Cataract extraction with intraocular lens implantation is the most common surgery performed at Mass Eye and Ear
  • Of the 2,940 cataract surgeries performed in 2019, only 1.6% had intraoperative complications, which is below international benchmarks
  • There were no cases of endophthalmitis, or severe intraocular infection, after cataract surgery in 2019

Racial and Social Disparities in Health Care

Health care outcomes in ophthalmology this year cannot be addressed without drawing attention to the way in which, as a global community, our eyes have been opened more widely to the systemic racial and social inequities within our society.

"It has become very clear that these inequities affect health outcomes," said Joan W. Miller, MD, chief of the Department of Ophthalmology at Mass Eye and Ear and Mass General, and chair of Harvard Ophthalmology. "We strongly recognize the need to do more to understand and combat this problem, and we're expanding our Quality program to make this possible."

Moving forward, the department will start analyzing outcomes by race, ethnicity and other socio-economic determinants when possible so that the Department can understand healthcare disparities in its own care.

View the 2020 Ophthalmology Quality and Outcomes report »

Learn more about Ophthalmology at Mass Eye and Ear/Mass General

Refer a patient to the Mass Eye and Ear/Mass General Department of Ophthalmology

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