The Highway Traffic Act (HTA) was recently amended to include both mandatory and discretionary reporting for certain health care practitioners, including optometrists. Medical reporting requirements in the HTA have been strengthened to enhance road safety, to clarify which conditions health care practitioners are required to report, and to improve the Ministry of Transportation’s ability to identify potentially unsafe drivers. The amendments will take effect July 1, 2018. They can be reviewed fully under Ontario Regulation 340/94.
It will be mandatory for optometrists to report certain high risk visual impairments, specifically:
- A best corrected visual acuity that is below 20/50 with both eyes open and examined together.
- A visual field that is less than 120 continuous degrees along the horizontal meridian, or less than 15 continuous degrees above and below fixation, or less than 60 degrees to either side of the vertical midline, including hemianopia.
- Diplopia that is within 40 degrees of fixation point (in all directions) of primary position, that cannot be corrected using prism lenses or patching.
New vision reporting form – The vision reporting form for optometrists has been updated with the new reporting requirements for vision conditions. The form still requires final approval and will be available on the MTO’s central forms repository as of July 1, 2018.
What stays the same
Required reporting by optometrists for any person who, in the opinion of the optometrist, has or appears to have a medical condition, functional impairment, or visual impairment that may make it dangerous for the person to drive.
Professional standards of practice – The required clinical information (OPR 4.2) includes the results and analysis of visual field assessment when indicated by patient signs, symptoms, or history. Providing unnecessary diagnostic services remains professional misconduct under the Optometry Act.
The College plans to share more information and update the corresponding area of our website ahead of July 1, 2018.
For more information on the Medical Review Section at MTO please visit their website.