Welcome to the final edition of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (HCAPS)’s newsletter for 2021! As we look ahead to the holidays, we’ve got an exciting opportunity for members of state optometric associations, updates on policy advancing in Washington DC, and kudos to two HCAPS members who have publicly advocated for patient safety.

Share HCAPS and Win

Are you a member of a state optometric association? You can help your association earn a drawing for up to $1,500 in travel awards for members to attend professional conferences in 2022. If 15% or more of any given state association's members sign up for HCAPS by the deadline, every member of that association who signed up for HCAPS will be entered into the drawing! Visit this page to learn more, including easy ways to share with your colleagues.

Update from Capitol Hill

We were pleased to see that the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Committee both included enforcement of the Contact Lens Rule's verification requirements in their report that recommends how the government should spend money over the next year. 

We are particularly happy that the Senate's report indicates that patient safety gaps remain despite the finalization of the Contact Lens Rule, and we'll continue to advocate for patient safety.

Vision Screening and U.S. Population Health:
What You Need to Know

Dr. Lori Grover provides an excellent synopsis of Vision Screening and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.

For more than a century, vision screening has had no universally accepted definition or process. Without official guidelines on vision screening, optometrists and clinical teams must continue to advocate for the visual and overall health of children as a significant public health concern.

Evidence-based eye care is essential to children’s health, as well as overall population health. Read more of Dr. Lori Glover’s brilliant analysis to learn more about the topic.

Letters to the Editor

This fall, HCAPS members have been sending letters to the editors of their local newspapers in support of patient safety. 

In November, Dr. Joe Sugg, President of the Arkansas Optometric Association, had his letter published thanking his Senator John Boozman for sponsoring key patient safety legislation, writing: “Rapid expansion and embrace of modern technology has left behind the 45 million Americans who rely on contact lenses for their vision needs. The reason: Many online contact lens retailers still rely on problematic robocalls to verify prescriptions when they could achieve the same verification more efficiently and effectively using a written electronic message, like an email.”

A congressional coalition is seeking to better protect patients with the introduction of the Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act. “This legislation makes the prescription verification process simpler for doctors and safer for patients.” Read more of Dr. Sugg’s letter to the editor.

Introducing the newest Friend of HCAPS: 
Nevada Optometric Association

We are proud to announce that the Nevada Optometric Association (NOA) has joined the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety as a Friend of HCAPS! We look forward to working together to advance patient safety for Americans across the country.

Happy holidays, and thank you for continuing to be one of our advocates.