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The utilization of therapuetic pharmaceutical agents by optometrists for the treatment of ocular disease

1 May 1994


On April 18, 1989 Washington legislation legalized the use of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents by optometrists. It is now three years later, and therapeutic privileges have enabled optometrists to broaden the scope of optometry. This study summarizes the utilization of TPAs on 660 applications by TPA certified optometrists during the entire month of November 1992, in the state of Washington. Results of the study demonstrate the incidence of ocular diseases being effectively managed by optometrists. From this study, a practical list of therapeutical agents was generated,· to establish a drug of first choice in a clinical setting. Furthermore, it was shown that TPAs have allowed optometrists to treat 80% of ocular disease independently. The percentage of cases being referred and not treated was 11.06%. The percentage of ocular disease cases that were being co-managed was 9.85%. The percentage of ocular disease cases that were treated and referred was 7%. The optometric profile of a practice has a great influence on the amount of patients seen with ocular disease. The mode of practice consisting of group practice with one ophthalmologist had the highest amount of patients per practice but the lowest amount of hours per practice. The corporate practice saw the least number of ocular disease patients. The greater the number of ocular disease cases seen per practice the higher the income. The communities with a population size of less than 5,000 saw the highest number of ocular disease patients per practice and had the longest hours per practice.


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