National clinical audits measure and protect patient safety and professional standards. The National Ophthalmology Database Audit (NOD), run by RCOphth, is recognised by clinicians, NICE and industry as an important safety and research tool.
NOD measures the outcomes of cataract surgery and is encouraging participation in the new age-related macular degeneration (AMD) audit. NOD can be expanded to audit the treatment of other potentially blinding diseases.
Since 2010, NOD has analysed the outcomes of cataract surgery, the most commonly performed elective operation in the NHS (England and Wales).
The cataract audit is a highly respected large-scale audit that has improved the quality and safety of cataract surgery, reducing unwarranted variation and making savings for the NHS by reducing risks and supporting continued professional learning.
NOD enables cataract surgeons to compare their performance against that of their peers nationally. This is a vital safeguard of patient safety and a promoter of best practice, eradicating variation in the provision of cataract surgery and patient care.
Following the first full data extraction in May 2022, the AMD audit will provide national
benchmarks to enable sites to compare visual acuity outcomes and care process measures
both regionally and nationally and will publish an annual report of aggregate data on the NOD audit website.
NOD provides reassurance to patients and the public that the hospital eye service is of a good standard and drives continuous quality improvement within the profession. The data on patient outcomes is accessible on the NOD Audit website.