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Tuesday / August 9.
HomeminewsPaediatric Optometry Program Pilot

Paediatric Optometry Program Pilot

The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH) will pilot a Paediatric Optometry Alignment Program in 2016, targeting optometrists in Queensland and northern New South Wales. The first training session for the program will take place on 13 March.

The Program will set the standard of care for optometrists who wish to share responsibility of caring for LCCH patients in community settings using evidence based best practice guidelines. This novel approach to care will support patients in accessing local care options and also reduce the waiting time for children to see an eye specialist at the hospital.

The training involved includes a one day face-to-face workshop presented by a multi-disciplinary eye health team, focusing on evidence based care, diagnosis and management of non-urgent stable conditions such as amblyopia and strabismus as well as the importance of strong communication and trust between health professionals. Optometrists will also have access to online materials to support their learnings from the workshop and a rapid-access portal will be available to facilitate referrals to and from the hospital and ongoing communication channels.

Optometrists who wish to participate in the program will be required to have a scheduled medicines endorsement and have an adequately equipped clinic with equipment suitable for a range of paediatric eye examinations and care.

Participating optometrists will be listed as LCCH-aligned optometrists and can have their details listed on the LCCH website for public access.

The Director of Ophthalmology at Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, which includes responsibility of Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Professor Glen Gole believes that open dialogue and building trust are the essential first steps of building strong models of the shared-care of patients.

“Communication which is open and honest is an essential part of this process,” said Professor Gole. “Both ophthalmologists and optometrists will have some major adjustments to make but if best practice and best evidence is the basis of care, we should be able to develop effective co-operation and collaboration.”

Dr. Ann Webber is a Brisbane-based independent optometrist working with a high caseload of paediatric patients and is one of the members of the steering committee for the program. Dr. Webber also believes that improving inter-professional relationships will be key to the success of this program along with the importance of evidence based care.

The benefits of the program will reach far beyond improved access to care, and the program will include an evaluation of both patient and health professional satisfaction components.

The first training session for the Paediatric Optometry Alignment Pilot Program will be on 13 March 2016.

Contact Hannah Johnson, Project Officer: Hannah.Johnson@health.qld.gov.au or (AUS) 07 3068 4363.

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