To Help Building up Eye Banks in China to Achieve International Standard for Quality and Safety

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BackgroundHospital Authority Eye Bank (HAEB) is the only eye bank in Hong Kong provides eye tissues for transplantation purpose. We envisage this meaningful goal of helping to reduce corneal blindness in Hong Kong. Throughout these years, it has advanced by leaps and bounds to become a professional eye bank with international quality standards.Eye bank in ChinaChina has more than four million corneal blindness patients and over 100,000 new cases reported annually. According to the World Health Organization, corneal blindness is one of the major causes of blindness after cataract. Most of them can recover their sights through keratoplasty. The eye banks in China are scattered and most of them are affiliated to eye hospitals. Due to shortage of corneal tissues, patients are forced to wait. The eye banks with international standards are in imminent need to provide quality eye tissues for transplantation. Having an established eye bank and experience, it is hoped to help in developing eye banks in China to achieve international standard for quality and safety.Infrastructure buildingEye bank should have sufficient space, equipment and supplies to accommodate the volume of services performed with optimal efficiency, timeliness and safety.Personnel and staff trainingEye bank should have trained staffs to perform different eye bank functions. A comprehensive and well-defined orientation program outlining job-related tasks should be developed so that each employee is being trained to perform their duties.Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)Eye bank should establish SOPs that contain procedures, policies and guidelines that apply to all eye bank functions. These procedures, policies and guidelines are provided for all eye bank personnel and are used as the foundation for day-to-day operation. They are intended to standardize the practices of the Eye Bank and to meet acceptable eye bank, ophthalmological and medical standards.Transparent and accountable system for allocation of ocular tissues: A web-based system is needed so as to allow central registration, prioritization and allocation of corneas.Quality assurance program: Quality assurance is a continual process for monitoring and evaluating activities, the identification of problems, development and implementation of corrective actions, and specific procedures or practices which prevent recurrence of errors or accidents. It is aimed at providing uniformly safe and high quality eye tissue for surgical use.ConclusionAs part of China, the Eye Bank in Hong Kong carries a special and unique role in sharing knowledge and experience to our mother land in building standard eye banks. We hope change the general belief and build up public trust towards eye donation. With more eye tissues donated, corneal blindness in China can be reduced ultimately.

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