Date of Degree


Document Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Karen Weis PhD, RNC, FAAN


Type 2 diabetes affects more than 90 million people and is a major cause of reduced vision and blindness in the United States (Lu et al., 2016). Without proper preventative measures, T2D damages the microvascular within the retina causing diabetic retinopathy (Lima, Cavalieri, Lima, Nazorio, & Lim, 2016). Despite the success of early detection and the availability of diabetic retinopathy screenings, many people diagnosed with T2D do not complete the recommended routine eye exam (Lu et al., 2016). Healthy People 2020’s (HP2020) (2016) target goal for annual dilated eye exams for patients with T2D is 58%. At baseline, only 2% of patients received eye care screenings & referrals within the host Internal Medicine clinic. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to increase the number of eye care screenings performed and referrals completed in non-WellMed patients over the age of 18 diagnosed with T2D. The primary objective was to increase eye care screenings and ophthalmology referrals and educate patients and staff regarding diabetic retinopathy. The intervention included staff training, a patient education handout, and the development of a provider protocol checklist. Between June 12 and August 4, 2017, 76 patients met the inclusion criteria. Following the intervention, 40 patients (53%) received a complete eye care assessment, 29 patients (38%) were recommended to an ophthalmologist, and 33 patients (43%) received patient education handouts. Results suggest that a combination of staff training, patient education, and assistance with the assessment and referral process can influence provider’s adherence to recommended care.

Included in

Nursing Commons