Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Air Force's Automated Eye Care

The refraction process has not changed for more than 100 years, but some of the tools used to perform refraction have improved with the development of new technology. The Peterson Optometry Clinic at the Peterson Air Force Base located in Colorado has acquired and is using an automated refraction system.

Previously, the ophthalmic technicians in the optometry clinic would collect data on a patients’ vision status and on their current prescriptions and then enter the information into the EHR for the optometrist to use as a starting point for the exam.

Now, the data is automatically transferred to the refraction equipment in the doctor’s exam room. The new system design allows the doctor to be more efficient throughout the refraction process by simply pressing buttons and rapidly assessing which combination of lenses provides the best possible vision for the patient.

The best part is that the doctors can view the contrast between what the patient’s vision is with their current prescription and what their vision will be with their new and improved prescription. Healthcare providers at the clinic are now able to offer patients more comprehensive care by providing immediate feedback about changes in their vision.

The new automated system actually decreases the chances for errors significantly. By automatically transferring data from the technician to the doctor, errors that occur during the transcription of that data are eliminated. This means fewer patients return to the clinic to be rechecked and more appointments are available to other patients.