Cataract Clinical Care Standard

The Commission drafted the Cataract Clinical Care Standard in consultation with a Topic Working Group consisting of clinical experts and consumers.

Introduction

The Cataract Clinical Care Standard relates to the care of patients 18 years and over with cataract. It covers the assessment of patients with suspected cataract, cataract surgery where appropriate and postoperative care to complete visual rehabilitation.

This clinical care standard will apply to all healthcare settings where care is provided to patients with cataract including primary care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services, hospitals and and privately-operated eye clinics.

The development of the Cataract Clinical Care Standard follows a recommendation in the Second Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation (2017) to develop a clinical care standard on cataract surgery. The Atlas found that Australia has twice the rate of cataract surgery (8,000 per million) compared to New Zealand, but less than that of France, the Netherlands and the United States. It also reported 1.6 fold geographical variation across local areas, following the exclusion of the highest and lowest results (includes public and private data).

Consultation

The standard was developed in collaboration with a topic working group of clinicians, researchers and consumers. Public consultation on the clinical care standard was carried out between February and April 2019. 

Next Steps

The draft Cataract Clinical Care Standard was amended following public consultation. Following endorsement by the Commission's Board, the standard was progressed for consideration by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Committee (AHMAC) however this process was delayed by the COVID pandemic. Work on releasing the standard is progressing in 2021.