1 CET • 45 minutes read

Needs-based decision making in the context of COVID-19

Needs-based decision making in the context of COVID-19

With a greater emphasis on needs-based consultations, this article considers some of the clinical decision-making considerations to decide when it is appropriate to use tonometry, visual fields and other diagnostic and imaging tests in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tonometry and visual fields are two examples of commonly performed tests which may be used as both a screening and a diagnostic tool, and these have been impacted by the pandemic.

This article looks at how they, and other investigations, can be best utilised over the COVID-19 recovery period as a diagnostic tool as part of a needs-lead consultation. Although the use of non-contact tonometry (NCT) was suspended during the lockdown initially, recent updated evidence and an expert consensus review published by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and College of Optometrists has stated that NCT can be resumed, but nonetheless still used on a needs-led approach.


What you will learn:

  • Optometrists will have an enhanced awareness of how to make needs-based decisions about patient assessment and recall in the context of increased risk of infection and advice from public health and optical professional bodies
  • Optometrists will have an enhanced appreciation of the specific precautions and indications for performance of tonometry and other diagnostic tests in the context of public health and optical professional body advice during a period of increased risk of infection
  • Dispensing opticians will have an enhanced awareness of the needs-based decisions of the supervising optometrist on use of diagnostic tests in the context of increased risk of infection and advice from public health and optical professional bodies, so they can work in a supporting role and provide information to patients within their scope of practice, as part of a multidisciplinary eyecare team

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