Purpose: To determine the effectiveness of a series of policy changes designed to increase the attendance rate for outpatient retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) screening examinations.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of consecutive neonatal intensive care unit patients before and after the implementation of policy changes. Policy changes included parent education forms, streamlined scheduling, and creation of a log for all patients seen. The primary outcome measure was attendance rates for the first outpatient appointment after discharge. The Fisher exact test was used to compare rates between the two groups.
Results: Before the policy was implemented, 22 of 52 (42%) neonates and their caregivers attended their first outpatient ROP screening examination on the recommended date. This rate improved significantly after policy implementation, when 46 of 57 (81%) neonates and their caregivers were seen on the recommended date (P < 0.01). The number of patients who ultimately met the criteria for conclusion of acute retinal screening examinations also significantly improved, from 47 of 52 (90%) of neonates in the pre-implementation group to 57 of 57 (100%) in the post-implementation group (P = 0.02).
Conclusions: The attendance rates for initial outpatient ROP examinations and the number of patients who ultimately met criteria for conclusion of acute retinal screening examinations significantly improved after the implementation of new policies.
Copyright © 2013 American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.