Vision and Eye Health in Children 36 to < 72 Months: Proposed Data System 

Vision screening for preschool-aged children is endorsed by many organizations concerned with children’s health issues. Currently, there is a lack of data on the proportion of children screened and no effective system to ensure that children who fail screenings access appropriate comprehensive eye examinations and follow-up care. Following are recommendations for developing an integrated data system for recording vision screening and eye care follow-up outcomes in preschool-aged children. The recommendations were developed by the National Expert Panel to the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness and funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Guidance is provided regarding specific elements to be included, as well as the characteristics and architecture of such a data system.

The panel recommends that efforts to integrate vision care data with other child health data should build on existing state-level approaches to data integration following national guidelines for uniform data collection. A targeted protocol would include expansion of the statewide immunization information systems to incorporate information on vision screenings and eye care. These systems already have the appropriate security measures to safeguard privacy of information. This approach would allow monitoring of vision care services provided by different types of health care professionals, including tracking of receipt of follow-up care and outcome measures. While ophthalmology and optometry currently do not utilize these systems, it is recommended that they be allowed to review existing data and to add limited clinical results and treatment recommendations from their comprehensive eye examinations.

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Suggested Citation and Corresponding Author

Hartmann EE, Block SS, Wallace DK for the National Expert Panel to the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health. Vision Screening for Children 36 to <72 Months: Proposed Data System. Optom Vis Sci 2015;92(1): 24-30.

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