Western Sydney Local Health District
Glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy (DR) are major causes of visual impairment in Australia. Glaucoma affects four per cent of people over 40, half are undiagnosed. DR affects 35 per cent of people with diabetes. In addition only 20-50 per cent of the population have regular eye examinations.
Community Eye Care is an innovative care model in Westmead Eye Clinic. Low risk glaucoma and diabetes patients undergo standardised assessments at community-based optometrists, and files are electronically transferred to Westmead for ophthalmologist review.
The initiative resulted in better outcomes by improving access to ophthalmic services through streamlined referral and assessment, improving communication between providers, and improving access to eye clinic services. 47 per cent of patients do not require a hospital appointment, resulting in improved capacity and more timely access for patients requiring eye clinic appointments.