Across Specsavers’ New Zealand practices, same day visual field performance consistently measures above clinical benchmarking standards, providing optometrists with confidence of detecting urgent conditions, including glaucoma, at a point when vision loss can be avoided.

Specsavers’ first analysed the correlation between visual field performance and glaucoma detection in 2017 using a dataset of 5.3 million patient outcomes. With this information, Specsavers set a 13% visual field benchmark in Australia and 10% visual field benchmark in NZ, providing metrics on same day visual fields for its optometrists and practices to ensure patients were being referred for specialist diagnosis and treatment following the RANZCO District Health Board (DHB) Glaucoma Referral Guidelines.

Looking at the data across all New Zealand clinics, visual field performance in 2021 is currently sitting at 11.5%, well above levels seen in 2019 (under 10%), and above the clinical benchmark standards of 10% in NZ.

While visual fields are often used as a tool in glaucoma detection, there are many other clinical indications which are not limited to glaucoma investigation for a visual field to be performed. These include unexplained headaches, unexplained reduction in vision/visual acuity, monitoring of side effects of long-term systemic medications such as Plaquenil, detection of other optic nerve diseases and neurological conditions. The consistent rate of visual field performance in New Zealand demonstrates optometrists are utilising visual fields for best patient care.

Same Day Visual Fields

Same day visual field performance continues to be one of the strongest indicators of visual fields being used effectively.

To mitigate the risk of disconnected care, loss to follow up and maximising the patient’s time in the clinic, same day visual fields are key, particularly for those patients which exhibit risk factors for glaucoma.

Which is why data from 2021 showing 81% of visual field tests for New Zealand patients are being conducted on the same day is a remarkable clinical achievement.

NZ Clinical Performance Consultant for Specsavers Amy Chen said, “A strong and consistent visual field performance of more than 11%, and more than 80% of visual fields occurring on the same day is an exceptional standard.

“This performance has been achieved due to a consistent and dedicated focus on clinic processes, communication and agility of roles and responsibility across the clinic team.

“This rate of visual field performance, when coupled with OCT, provides the confidence our optometrists are detecting urgent neurological conditions and glaucoma at a stage where visual field loss is minimal, allowing the greatest opportunity for patients to maintain vision and quality of life.”