Purpose: To collect clinical data on cataract surgery to allow participating surgeons to compare their performance with that of their colleagues in an anonymous manner.
Setting: Surgeons from 31 surgical units providing cataract surgery in 13 European countries.
Methods: Every patient at each participating unit having surgery during 1 study month was evaluated. Data were reported to the coordinating center at the time of surgery and at the final examination. When the study was closed 6 months after surgery, all participants were provided with the outcomes from their own patients so they could compare them with outcomes from other centers.
Results: The study included preoperative and intraoperative data on 2950 patients. Complete follow-up data were available for 2731 patients. The surgical audit included surgically induced astigmatism, proximity of target refraction, and the frequency of major complications. For each variable, a large variation in outcome between participating centers was found. Most centers had results both above and below average for different variables.
Conclusion: Cataract surgery data collected from 31 units in 13 European countries allowed participants to compare their performance with that of their colleagues in an anonymous manner. Significant variation was found in the outcomes among the units, with many units reporting results above and below the averages.