Ophthalmologists develop MU checklist for their specialty

By Diana Manos
10:38 AM

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has created an EHR checklist to help ophthalmologists comply with meaningful use. The academy said the list is "the first of its kind" for specialties.

The checklist, developed as part of a report by the Academy's Medical Information Technology Committee (MITC), will enhance care and physician communication, the group said in a press release on Tuesday.

In addition to helping ophthalmologists with meaningful use, the Academy said the list contains requirements needed to make EHR systems as intuitive and efficient as possible for ophthalmology practices.

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According to lead author Michael Chiang, MD, the report includes a list of 17 essential and six desirable features in the areas of clinical documentation, ophthalmic vital signs and laboratory studies, medical and surgical management, and ophthalmic measurement and imaging devices.

"Our recommendations define what will make a system work efficiently within the unique workflow and data management needs of an ophthalmology practice," said Chiang, who is from the Departments of Ophthalmology & Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology at Oregon Health & Science University and is chairman of the Academy's Medical Information Technology Committee.

According to Chiang, some of the recommendations include:

  • Supporting documentation in and transitions between the office and operating room

  • Capturing, tracking and displaying "vital signs of the eye," such as visual acuity

  • Incorporating hand-drawn sketches or annotations into records

The Academy said EHR companies will be asked to respond as to how their systems match up against the list of essential and desirable features. Information detailing the vendors responses will be provided to Academy members in the future and the Academy will continue to work with the vendors to help them understand and evaluate the recommendations.

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The checklist is part of a report titled, "Special Requirements for Electronic Health Records for Ophthalmology," now available in the journal Ophthalmology online and forthcoming in the Aug. 1 issue.

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