We’ve taken part in a number of pilots to aid advancements in the world of optics
Optometry is a fast changing World with new developments regularly happening. We haven’t just sat and waited for big changes to happen, we’ve made a point to be part of them!
Over the past few years we have taken part in a number of schemes and pilots in order to offer our patients a number of additional services in the future.
Some of the pilots we’ve been a part of include:
A pilot scheme for glaucoma shared care
Glaucoma is an eye condition that occurs when pressure begins to build up in the eye resulting in damage to the optic nerve and loss in vision. Due to the number of individuals suffering from the condition, 2% of the population, a significant amount of hospital appointments were being filled for monitoring these people. The shared care scheme was therefore designed to see whether optometrists were able to see these patients in the community at their practices, capture all the necessary data digitally from tests and to send this data to a secure server. The ophthalmologist would then access this data and decide who could remain in community primary care and who needed to go to the hospital for further investigation. This would inevitably cut down on the number of hospital outpatient appointments.
We were one of two practices chosen to pilot this scheme and were able to prove that the concept worked.
Today, if a patient needs to be referred to a hospital or specialist for further examination, opticians are required to generate a letter through their practice computer management system, before posting it to the necessary correspondent. E-referrals have been designed to digitally manage these referrals, by allowing opticians to submit their referrals online via secure pathway into the NHS. This method allows the sender to see when their referral has been picked up, and even read and allows electronic attachments from other equipment such as visual fields and fundus photography.
Ultimately, the aim for e-referrals is to allow a number of individuals within the medical profession to be able to communicate with one another regarding patients – for example, opticians, GP’s, pharmacists etc.