Visits to Misericordia Urgent Care Related to Ocular Complaints
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Currently there is limited epidemiological evidence describing patients presenting to emergency room departments with ocular complaints. Further only one study has every looked at the issues of wait times. Finally no study has looked at triage criteria to allow direct consultation to an ophthalmologist. Methods: A retrospective chart review was carried out at the Misericordia Health Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, reviewing all patients presenting with ocular complaints in 2009. Data: In total 3543 charts were reviewed with a total of 4034 total patients visits. The average wait time for all patients was 2:42 hours from time of presentation to emergency room assessment by a physician. In total 1685 of all patient encounters were referred to the ophthalmologist on call, with an average wait time of 10:15 hours to see the ophthalmologist. Discussion: Patients presenting with symptoms of flashes and floaters alone could be referred to ophthalmologist on call directly by emergency room triage staff. This is based on the finding that 92.5% of people presenting with flashes and floaters were eventually referred to the ophthalmologist by the emergency room physician. A further attempt to reduce wait times would be to establish an “eye specialist” at the Misericordia of a non-surgical ophthalmologist, optometrist or resident. Conclusion: Patients presenting to Urgent Care at Misericordia compromise a diverse group of individuals and with direct triaging and an instigation of ocular specialists wait times could be reduced.