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This article is part of the supplement: 33rd International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

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Multidisciplinary approach to improving documentation of visual acuity in patients presenting with ocular trauma

L Low* and M Johnston

  • * Corresponding author: L Low

Author Affiliations

NHS Tayside, Dundee, UK

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Critical Care 2013, 17(Suppl 2):P265  doi:10.1186/cc12203

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:19 March 2013

© 2013 Low and Johnston; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aimed to implement a multidisciplinary quality improvement project in Perth Royal Infirmary A&E department to improve documentation of visual acuity (VA) in patients presenting with ocular injury.


The improvement project involves a three-pronged multidisciplinary approach: ensure that equipment required for VA testing (Snellen chart and pinhole mask) was readily available; encourage VA testing at first point of contact with A&E staff, both nursing/medical staff; and refresher online course on how to test for VA quickly and accurately, in the 6/X format. We compared the pre-intervention (2 September to 2 October 2012) and post-intervention (11 October to 19 November 2012) rates of VA documentation using the chi-square test.


During the pre-intervention period, of a total of 44 patients who presented to A&E with eye injury, only 36 patients (95%) had their VA tested. Following intervention, there was significant improvement in VA testing, where all 43 patients presenting to A&E with eye injuries had their VA tested (100%, P = 0.02). Documentation of VA in the correct (6/X) format increased from 82 to 84% following intervention. There was a 15% improvement in documentation of best-corrected VA, from 48 to 63% post intervention. See Figure 1.


Through a multidisciplinary approach, we were successful in achieving our target of 100% VA documentation rate in all patients presenting with eye injury to PRI A&E.