Newswise — ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The World Association of Eye Hospitals will host its first meeting in the United States June 6-9 at the University of Michigan W.K. Kellogg Eye Center, one of 45 member eye hospitals worldwide committed to collaboration in eye care.

During the 12th annual meeting, top-level administrators and faculty from major eye hospitals will explore how virtual reality and big data are transforming eye care delivery.

“The issues we face in health care are phenomenally complex and through the World Association of Eye Hospitals we can exchange ideas and experiences that can lead to breakthrough solutions,” says David Probert, chair of the WAEH and chief executive of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London.

At least 10 million people in the United States are blind or visually impaired. Globally, 160 million individuals have eye diseases that range from childhood eye disorders to age-related macular degeneration.

Through six themes, this year’s annual meeting will explore ways eye hospitals can capture their full potential to protect people’s sight:

  • Inspiring hospital design
  • Staff roles in eye hospitals: Who does what to organize eye hospitals in an efficient and effective way
  • Innovations in eye care from artificial intelligence to robotics
  • Philanthropy and fundraising
  • How to improve hospital safety and quality
  • New business models in eye care

Among the keynote speakers is former U.S. astronaut Jim Bagian, M.D., a patient safety expert who leads the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety at the University of Michigan.

Keynote addresses  will also be delivered by MCity Deputy Director Carrie Morton, who is transforming mobility through the development of automated vehicles; Raymond J. Hutchinson, M.D., associate dean for regulatory affairs at the University of Michigan Medical School, and Paul R. Lichter, M.D., former director of Kellogg Eye Center, an inspired philanthropist who views fundraising as a means for helping institutions excel.

Meaningful measures in eye care

The WAEH draws on collaborative research for new approaches in vision care. A report to be delivered at this year’s meeting marks the first collaboration of its kind in outcomes reporting.

Outcomes reporting is a growing field, particularly in the U.S. where the Affordable Care Act now ties reimbursement levels to the public availability of such metrics.

Researchers explored eight leading care outcomes publicly available in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Singapore and India. The results describe a widely variable landscape when it comes to how each measures and reports outcomes for common eye conditions such as cataract surgery and macular degeneration.

The finding has implications for patients seeking transparency in care and researchers looking to collaborate beyond their institution.

Jennifer Weizer, M.D., will present the findings during the annual meeting, a project that included expertise provided by Kellogg colleague Joshua Stein, M.D., an early pioneer in big data analysis in the field of ophthalmology and Paul E. Lee, M.D., director of Kellogg Eye Center.

Lee is chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Michigan.  His research focusing on eye care delivery has laid the groundwork for improving the quality of life of patients with ocular diseases.   

A global perspective to improve vision

Kellogg will welcome leaders from the globe’s top eye care hospitals from across the U.S., South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

“The WAEH has been a leader in fostering the growth of eye care around the world, a mission which has become even more important as we look to provide eye care to the rapidly growing numbers of people with eye conditions while incorporating the latest advances in patient care,” says Lee.

Member hospitals have launched a bench marking system to continuously measure and compare data on patient outcomes, volumes, appointment cancellations, productivity and trends in patient care to help improve their individual outcomes.

Christine Nelson, M.D., an oculoplastic surgeon at Kellogg Eye Center, delivered a patient safety presentation to WAEH members in China last year and has emerged as a coordinator of the 2018 meeting.   

“I learned a great deal from this meeting,” says Nelson, section chief of eye plastic, orbital and reconstructive surgery at Kellogg Eye Center, about “how to share ideas and improve our clinic and operating room systems. The exchange was excellent for better understanding and solutions of patient flow and efficiency.”

To learn more about this year’s program and poster session go to the WAEH Website:


The World Association of Eye Hospitals was established in Rotterdam in 2006 to provide a platform for exchanging best practices in the planning, organization and delivery of eye care services across the globe. The organization mission is to continuously improve the experience, care and outcomes of patients with eye disorders.