The Rotterdam Eye Hospital

The leading specialist in the field of ophthalmology

The Rotterdam Eye Hospital

Established in 1874, The Rotterdam Eye Hospital is now a Center of Excellence and the leading specialist in the field of ophthalmology in The Netherlands. We aim to achieve medical excellence, establish and maintain high quality business operations and take a specific approach to the patient. The focus of this approach is rooted in our philosophy to reduce patient anxiety.

We assess the quality of our care according to applicable standards as part of both internal and external audits. The qualitative aspects of our organisation and the work we do are assessed by the Dutch Institute for Accreditation in Healthcare (NIAZ). We also carry out patient satisfaction surveys on a regular basis, logging and analysing all emerging complaints and suggestions.

The results are very good. The Rotterdam Eye Hospital has the highest rate of referrals in the Netherlands. We receive excellent scores in the field of patient satisfaction. Moreover, we have won various awards from leading institutes for our innovation, patient safety, conduct of business and design.

The Rotterdam Eye Hospital is the founder of The Eye Care Network, in which as part of which ophthalmologists from various hospitals, optometrists and eye rehabilitation institutes work closely together.

Another initiative of The Rotterdam Eye Hospital, the Rotterdam Ophthalmic Institute (R.O.I.) brings together scientific research carried out under the auspices of The Rotterdam Eye Hospital.

The Rotterdam Eye Hospital is since 1994 a prominent member of the American Association of Eye and Ear Centers of Excellence (AAEECE), as well as the European Association of Eye Hospitals (EAEH) and the World Association of Eye Hospitals (WAEH). The EAEH and the WAEH were founded at the initiative of The Rotterdam Eye Hospital.

Facts & Figures

We have created a specialised center for children with eye problems

The Rotterdam Eye Hospital

  • 140,000 outpatient visits (510 a day)
  • 14,000 surgeries (50 a day)
  • 4 ORs + 2 day-surgery ORs
  • 50% of patients come from outside of Rotterdam
  • 93% cases on outpatient basis
  • 9 beds
  • 26,000 emergency visits (70 a day ) - open 24/7
  • 400 employees
  • 30 ophthalmologists
  • 5 fellows
  • 20 residents


Rotterdam Ophthalmic Institute

  • 42 ongoing studies
  • 27 employees
  • Eye Hospital Focus Clinic
  • 550 excimer laser treatments
  • 5 employees


The Eye Care Network

  • 2001: The Eye Care Network established
  • 2007: introduction of franchise model
  • 10 employees service organisation
  • Over 180 opticians and optometrists participating
  • Over 60 ophthalmologists participating
  • 14 Departments of Ophthalmology of Dutch hospitals participating

Excellent eye care and training programs

Refractive eye surgery at The Focus Clinic

The mission of The Rotterdam Eye Hospital is unequivocal: we wish to provide top ophthalmic care in a flexible and service-oriented manner. In recent years, the scope of our care has expanded to include preventive eye care.

Our leading physicians provide eye care of a consistent excellence. An important part of this is rooted in our philosophy to patient care, which is to reduce anxiety. In our approach, we always strive to try to give patients the greatest possible feeling of safety. In practise, this means providing proper information and transparency in all we do and discuss, all within a pleasant environment. We achieve this by using 'open' rooms where partners, parents etc. of patients can watch cataract surgery. By pleasant environment, we mean a design that does not evoke the mood of a clinical setting. This is how we achieve a faster rate of recovery, higher degree of safety and a high level of patient satisfaction.

The same is true for the Eye Hospital Focus Clinic, a private hospital belonging to The Rotterdam Eye Hospital. The Focus Clinic specialises in refractive eye surgery and cosmetic eyelid surgery, emphasising quality over treatment numbers or profit. By working with the latest techniques and methods, the medical staff maintain a high standard of quality.

We also provide various training programmes. In fact, we offer the biggest resident training programme. We offer highly specialised training for ophthalmologists in the various fields of ophthalmology. We also provide programmes for medical support staff and training to interns and students from various study programmes for nursing and management in healthcare.

Scientific research

Scientific research programme

Innovation is an important part of our business. Scientific research and the exchange of knowledge as part of national and international networks of experts in ophthalmology play an important role in this process.

We carry out our scientific research in the Rotterdam Ophthalmic Institute (R.O.I.). This executive expertise center for clinical ophthalmic research is part of The Rotterdam Eye Hospital. With regard to specific fundamental scientific expertise, the R.O.I. seeks to collaborate with various departments from university hospitals. This combination of specialised clinical research from a specialised hospital with academic collaboration partners is unique within the field of ophthalmology in The Netherlands. In this way the R.O.I. is able to achieve high quality research throughout the entire knowledge network.

The R.O.I. stands for:

  • Research aimed at innovation in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with eye disorders
  • High ethical standards in relation to patients participating in research
  • High-quality research that complies with the applicable quality standards and guidelines
  • An inspiring work environment and meeting place for researchers from very different disciplines

Collaboration at national and international level

Our ophthalmologists are part of an extensive national and international network and actively participate in conferences and meetings held by fellow professionals in eye care. This cooperation results in joint research projects and the exchange of residents and fellows.

The Rotterdam Eye Hospital is a member of the European Association of Eye Hospitals (EAEH) and the World Association of Eye Hospitals (WAEH). All members of these organisations are leading professional in their country and within these associations they primarily exchange knowledge about organising the eye care industry in a smarter way. The exchange of knowledge is increasingly focused on care provision issues, such as making unambiguous patient information available, collecting home medication data and designing workplaces and patient rooms.

Learning from other sectors

Valet parking of The Rotterdam Eye Hospital

The safety of patients, visitors and staff is an absolute priority. In this regard, The Rotterdam Eye Hospital is convinced of the importance of exchanging knowledge. When it comes to organisational innovation, The Rotterdam Eye Hospital also looks to other sectors. For example, trade and industry (Holland's largest retailer Albert Heijn, Toyota) and the aviation industry (KLM, Schiphol) are important sources of initiatives that can improve our service and working methods. Examples:

Time out procedure
Before an aircraft takes off, a checklist is used in the cockpit. Similarly, The Rotterdam Eye Hospital was the first hospital in the Netherlands to introduce the time out procedure in 2002. This is one last opportunity to check important procedures and issues before an operation takes place. In 2008 the Health Care Inspectorate made this safety procedure mandatory for all Dutch hospitals.

Scheduling method
The way that KLM schedules aircraft and that passengers book flights is also equally applicable in the hospital. Back in 1992 a former KLM agent converted the KLM booking into a reservation system for the clinic and the OR.

Valet parking
Valet parking is fully integrated into the service of first class hotels and restaurants. It also does away with stress about finding a parking space in a busy, over-crowded city. Based on this concept, The Rotterdam Eye Hospital has its own valet parking service, whereby the patient gets out of the car, which is then parked. That way, patients are on time for their appointment with the doctor, which reduces patient anxiety.

Risk analyses
Risk analyses are extremely important for the microchip and aviation industry. In these sectors the likelihood and consequences of an adverse event determine the importance of addressing risks. The Eye Hospital has adopted this method. This means that a process must be continually revisited so that the possible risks and the approach can be mapped for each step.

Resource Management Team
Every pilot in the world receives training in Crew Resource Management (CRM), situational risk awareness and teamwork. The Rotterdam Eye Hospital translated this training for the care sector, in cooperation with a pilot trainer. Therefore, Crew Resource Management was transformed into Team Resource Management (TRM). Since 2008, all surgical teams in the hospital receive training in TRM, in the fields of risk recognitions and teamwork. The training is given in a real flight simulator.

Safety Incident Reporting
If there is a near miss or accident, it is important that this can be reported openly and in a blame-free environment. This is the only way to prevent incidents from reoccurring. The Rotterdam Eye Hospital uses a digital system for Safety Incident Reporting.

mHealth Solutions

The Rotterdam Eye Hospital has developed four apps which are all contributing to a higher quality care. These apps contribute to:

  • Anxiety reduction
  • Patient empowerment
  • Stimulate optimal use of medication to stimulate a proper healing
  • Cooperation between ophthalmologists


To The Eye Hospital
The app 'To the Eye Hospital' is an app for Apple devices (iPhone and iPad). The app is a game for children who are going to visit the Rotterdam Eye Hospital. The app prepares children for their visit to the hospital and contributes to the anxiety reduction philosophy of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital. By playing the app, children are getting familiar with the hospital before their visit. Therefore they are less anxious for what is coming up. For example, they learn that eye drops don't hurt them, but they can tickle a bit in their eye. The result is that children are less afraid and it's easier to treat them.


The EYE-checklist is a checklist for patients who are visiting the Cataract department of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital. When entering the Cataract department on the day of the surgery, the patient and companion receive an iPad which they can keep during the visit. The iPad checklist had two main functionalities. On the one hand the patient and companion can check if all the steps the caregivers should take are being taken. The patient and companion are thus becoming co-owner of their own treatment process. On the other hand the patient and companion can check if they have received and understood all the information they have to know before leaving the hospital.

The results are that patients are more involved in their own treatment process (patient empowerment) and a safer treatment (essential steps in the care process can less easily be forgotten).

Eyedrop app
The nurses within The Rotterdam Eye Hospital had experienced that 95% of the eyedrop users don't use their medication the right way and at the right time. That's why our hospital has developed the app Eyedrop. This app had two main functionalities. The first functionality is the reminder-tool. Users of eyedrops can enter their medication schedule in the app. When medication has to be taken, the app reminds the user with a notification. The second functionality is a step-by-step instruction with clear drawings and read text for patients to administer the eye drops by themselves and for carers to administer the eye drops by someone else.

This app stimulates an optimal use of the medication and stimulates a proper healing. It also stimulates patient empowerment. 

The app hEyeway allows ophthalmologists to share photos of the eyes of patients with their colleagues within a secured environment. Ophthalmologists have a mount with which they can connect their iPhone to a microscope. The photo's made by the iPhone can be shared with colleagues worldwide. Consultation with colleagues can thus take place via the app.


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