Hydroxychloroquine Screening Practice Patterns Within a Large Multispecialty Ophthalmic Practice


      To determine provider compliance with hydroxychloroquine screening following the revised recommendations published in 2011 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.


      Evaluation of adherence to a screening protocol.


      Subjects were identified with hydroxychloroquine as a medication by electronic query at a large multispecialty ophthalmic practice. Patients were excluded if patients: (1) were screened by an outside physician; (2) lacked recorded height, weight, start date, or dosing; or (3) took hydroxychloroquine for malaria prophylaxis. Screening tests were stratified by ophthalmic subspecialty. Guidelines define proper screening as 1 subjective test—Humphrey visual field (HVF), and 1 objective test—spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT), fundus autofluorescence (FAF), or multifocal electroretinography (mfERG). Adherence to guidelines was determined by categorizing practices as: (1) “appropriate”—consistent with guidelines; (2) “underscreened”—insufficient testing; or (3) “inappropriate”—no testing.


      The study comprised 756 patients with a mean age of 56 years undergoing 1294 screening visits. Twenty-one patients received initial screenings outside the institution. Most common screening tests employed included SD OCT (56.6%), 10-2 HVF (55.0%), and Amsler grid (40.0%). Of the 735 initial screenings, 341 (46.4%) were appropriately screened, 204 (27.8%) underscreened, and 190 (25.9%) inappropriately screened. Of those who presented solely for screening (560), 307 (54.8%) were appropriately screened, 144 (25.7%) underscreened, and 109 (19.5%) inappropriately screened.


      Of patients presenting for hydroxychloroquine screening, 54.8% of patients received appropriate evaluation, indicating lack of adherence to guidelines. Overall, SD OCT and 10-2 HVF were the preferred screening modalities, with FAF and mfERG less frequently ordered.
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      Adrian Au, is a fourth year medical student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree in neuroscience at the University of Southern California. Prior to graduating he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute – Foundation to Fight Blindness Medical Fellow.