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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-38

Community ophthalmology clinic utilization and morbidities results from a private primary healthcare center in Saudi Arabia

AlHayat Clinics, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Afaf A Bin Khathlan
Almasif 3805, 12468, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-4534.325781

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PURPOSE: To study the utilization of the ophthalmology clinic in a primary care setting through number and type of ophthalmic cases that were managed. METHODS: This retrospective descriptive study included all ophthalmic cases treated during a 6-month period in a private sector primary healthcare center ophthalmology clinic in 2018. We measured clinic utilization by recording the proportion of patients treated among the total number of patients treated in the center, the number of visits during different times of day, and the most common diagnoses encountered. RESULTS: Among 32,518 visits to the health center during the study period, we recorded 422 (1%) visits to the ophthalmic clinic. First visits were 406 cases, and 16 were the follow-up visits. Patients tended to utilize the evening sessions more than morning sessions, with a median of 23 patients per month. Refractive errors in 89 cases (22%) and blepharitis in 88 cases (22%) were the most common diagnoses encountered. Visually significant cataract was not recorded in this study with a prevalence of 31% (14/45) in the >50 years of age group. Seven cases (2%) required referral to hospital during the study period for secondary eye care. CONCLUSION: Since most cases in this study were managed in the clinic with good utilization of the services offered, we concluded that a community ophthalmology clinic as a first contact would be useful in some primary healthcare centers. More studies are needed in different regions/settings before widely establishing the service in Saudi Arabia.

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