Benchmarking the Wilmer general eye services clinics: baseline metrics for surgical and outpatient clinic volume in an educational environment

BMC Med Educ. 2016 Jan 27:16:29. doi: 10.1186/s12909-016-0556-x.


Background: The Wilmer General Eye Services (GES) at the Johns Hopkins Hospital is the clinic where residents provide supervised comprehensive medical and surgical care to ophthalmology patients. The clinic schedule and supervision structure allows for a progressive increase in trainee responsibility, with graduated autonomy and longitudinal continuity of care over the three years of ophthalmology residency training. This study sought to determine the number of cases the GES contributes to the resident surgical experiences. In addition, it was intended to create benchmarks for patient volumes, cataract surgery yield and room utilization as part of an educational initiative to introduce residents to metrics important for practice management.

Methods: The electronic surgical posting system database was explored to determine the numbers of cases scheduled for patients seen by residents in the GES. In addition, aggregated residents' self-reported Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) surgical logs were collected for comparison. Finally transactional databases were queried to determine clinic volumes of new and established patients. The proportion of resident surgeries (1(st) surgeon and assistant) provided by GES patients, cataract surgery yield and new patient rates were calculated. Data was collected from July 1(st), 2014 until March 31(st), 2015 for all 16 residents (6 third year, 5 second year and 5 first year).

Results: The percentage of cataract, oculoplastics, cornea and glaucoma surgeries in which a resident was 1(st) surgeon and the patient came from the GES was 91.3, 76.1, 65.6, and 93.9 respectively. The new patient rate was 28.1% and room utilization was 50.4%. Cataract surgery yield was 29.2 DISCUSSION: The GES provides a significant proportion of primary surgeon opportunities for the residents, and in some instances, the majority of cases. Compared to benchmarks available for private practices, the new patient rate is high while the cataract surgery yield is low. The room utilization is lower than the 85% preferred by the hospital system. These are the first benchmarks of this type for an academic resident ophthalmology practice in the United States.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that resident-hosted clinics can provide the majority of surgical opportunities for ophthalmology trainees, particulary with regard to cataract cases. However, because our study is the first academic resident practice to publish metrics of the type used in private practices, it is impossible to determine where our clinic stands compared to other training programs. Therefore, the authors strongly encourage ophthalmology training programs to explore and publish practice metrics. This will permit the creation of a benchmarking program that could be used to quantify efforts at enhancing ophthalmic resident education.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration
  • Internship and Residency / standards
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / classification
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / education*
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data
  • Ophthalmology / education*
  • Ophthalmology / organization & administration
  • Ophthalmology / statistics & numerical data
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / standards*
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Practice Management, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Practice Management, Medical / standards
  • Practice Management, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • United States