Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Dianne Slager, DNP, FNP-BC

Second Advisor

Dr. Clay Reeves, DNP, NP-C

Academic Year



Background: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a leading cause of preventable blindness in working age adults in the United States. Nonadherence to screening recommendations persists due to significant barriers. Early detection is crucial to mitigate economic burdens and improve patient outcomes. This quality improvement project aimed to increase DR screening access for patients with diabetes at an urban Midwest safety net clinic by implementing an optical coherence tomography (OCT) screening program. Methods: A 12-week, cross-sectional study design using convenience sampling to recruit adult diabetic patients, type-1, or type-2, at a Midwest primary care clinic. Intervention involved retinal imaging scans of participants to complete annual screening per the American Diabetes Association (ADA) annual recommendations. Results: Among the 375 active patients with diabetes, there was a statistically significant improvement, (p value = 0.03), in screening rates among eligible participants, when compared pre-intervention rates. Conclusions: OCT is a useful tool to increase access and improve adherence to annual DR screening recommendations.

Available for download on Saturday, October 26, 2024