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Richard L. Abbott
ORLANDO, Fla. Ophthalmologists maintain a strong dedication to quality of patient care and a keen focus on ethics, a speaker said here.
Richard L. Abbott, MD, outgoing president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, discussed clinical practice guidelines during the opening ceremony of the annual meeting. Dr. Abbott spoke before Ruth D. Williams, MD, was installed as president.
"Our goal at the Academy is to provide our members with the most practical and relevant tools to meet the needs of practice, to practice both efficiently and effectively in the current and future medical environment, and to assist our members in providing
the best possible care to their patients through vetted and reliable educational materials," Dr. Abbott said.
In 1986, the AAO formed a Quality Care Committee to implement standards outlined by the American Medical Association. The committee was also formed to coordinate clinical research.
Since the 1980s, the AAO has developed 18 preferred practice patterns (PPPs), which are rooted in evidence-based data from peer-reviewed literature and other resources, Dr. Abbott said.
"[PPPs] are measurable elements in the process of care to a patient based on the best available clinical evidence," Dr. Abbott said. "The purpose of a clinical guideline is to prompt the physician to do the right thing at the right time, and do it well." The first ophthalmic guidelines addressed primary open angle glaucoma and cataract. Current guidelines cover a variety of clinical issues and are continuously being refined and augmented, he said.
Care guidelines are directed to general practice patterns as opposed to the care of specific patients.
The AAO Council, subspecialty societies and other medical societies collaborate on improving and implementing guidelines, Dr. Abbott said.
"Considerable input is always received from our colleagues prior to final Academy Board approval of a specific clinical practice guideline," he said.
- Disclosure: Dr. Abbott has no relevant financial disclosures.