Grant project status updates

12 Sep 2023

In January 2023, Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation announced funding for two new innovative research projects, I-Share Outpatient Department and Cataract Clinical Care. Nine months later and we have exciting news to share.

Danielle Morgan and Linda Fagan

Danielle Morgan and Linda Fagan

I-Share Outpatient Department

In busy emergency and outpatient departments across NSW, hospital staff have been looking for user-friendly means and ways to provide patients with educational information to enhance understanding of their eye health and care.

The I-Share project has been designed to find the ideal solution, and in a recent trial run in Sydney Eye Hospital’s Outpatient Department key milestones have already been exceeded.

The project has three primary goals:

  • Improve accessibility to pre-arrival orientation information for patients, carers and families.
  • Improve access to relevant health information to improve learning and understanding about their condition and care.
  • Improve ability for patients, carers and families to provide feedback on the outpatient experience.

Danielle Morgan, Acting Deputy Head of Orthoptic Department says the project design aligns with goals set by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

"This project aligns with the Commission’s goal to ensure that service improvements are driven by patient’s experiences,” says Ms Morgan.

“It will support the movement of health systems towards patient-centred health care to serve as the benchmark for all clinical cataract care standards across the board," she says.

And Ms Morgan is thrilled to report that engagement to date has been extremely high with a recent pilot of the I-Share platform.

“We had hoped to collect data so that 80% of patients would receive helpful pre-arrival information,” she says.

“We are absolutely delighted to report that 100% of patients provided an active mobile phone number so we could remove some stress and make their visit easier.”

“These patients accessed and opened more than 340 pre-arrival resources,” says Ms Morgan.

When it came to improving access to health information for patients, the report was even more positive. The team’s goal was to have 30% of patients open clinical information provided via I-Share. The outcome was a massive 80% open rate.

“Access to an online survey was provided to every patient by I-Share, to gather feedback on their experience and provide an opportunity for honest and confidential comments about our services,” says Ms Morgan.

Cataract Clinical Care Project

Sydney Eye Hospital takes great pride in being a centre of excellence for Australians with cataracts. But to date, there has been no routine, systematic monitoring of patient-reported outcomes.

Funding from Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation has led to the introduction and development of a well-known disability questionnaire platform with the aim to incorporate a best-practice model into routine cataract screening and assessment.

So far, the team have piloted the Catquest-9SF questionnaire. Through this project, the team gathered and analysed data that has caught the interest of the scientific community, as project coordinator, Dr Rachel Xuan explains.

“The findings of this pilot have been significant enough for the team to have the opportunity to present them at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists 54th Annual Scientific Congress in October 2023,” says Dr Xuan.

“With thanks to generous donations to Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, we are setting the benchmark very high and leading the way for patient-reported outcome measures,” she says.

But the team are not resting on their laurels. The pilot phase of a second, lesser-known questionnaire platform will soon commence.

“There are few studies in literature detailing the use of the Priquest questionnaire,” says Dr Xuan. “Because we are focussed on excellence, we felt it necessary to fully appraise our options before making a decision.”

“Sight is a precious element in maintaining quality of life, it’s vital we have as much patient informed data as possible to ensure we have the best outcomes for every Australian with cataract,” says Dr Xuan.

“This is valuable research that will ensure quality of care by engaging feedback from  patients undergoing sight-saving cataract surgery,” commented A/Professor Andrew Chang AM MBBS (Hons) PhD FRANZCO FRACS, Vitreoretinal Surgeon and Ophthalmologist and Head of Ophthalmology at Sydney Eye Hospital.