The 2013 legislative session brought very important changes for the practice of optometry. On April 19, 2013, Governor Rick Scott signed HB-239 into law, which significantly increased the scope of practice of optometry. One of those changes impacts when and how adverse incidents in the practice of optometry are reported to the Department of Health.
Effective January 1, 2014, certified optometrists will be required to report to the Department of Health any adverse incidents in the practice of optometry. An adverse incident is defined to mean, “any of the following events when it is reasonable to believe that the event is attributable to the prescription of an oral ocular pharmaceutical agent” by a certified optometrist:
- Any condition requiring a patient’s transfer to a hospital;
- Any condition that requires care and treatment from a physician, other than a referral or consultation;
- Permanent physical injury to the patient;
- Partial or complete permanent loss of sight by the patient; or
- Death of the patient.
The reports must be:
- Sent by certified mail; and
- Postmarked within 15 days after the adverse incident occurs.
Mail the completed Adverse Incident Form to:
Department of Health
Consumer Services Unit
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C75
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3275