Oculo and HealthLink have signed an agreement to facilitate the flow of referrals from General Practitioners into Oculo’s optometrist users through secure electronic messaging. The Oculo clinical communications platform for eye care now has almost 300 ophthalmologists and 800 optometrists across Australia.
“Primary eye care needs to happen in the community,” said Dr. Kate Taylor, Oculo’s CEO. “We know that about half of people with diabetes and glaucoma aren’t getting adequate eye care. Making it easier for GPs to connect patients in to eye care services can help that. Making it seamless and secure is critical.”
HealthLink’s core focus is on ensuring that electronic communication processes are put in place to give patients certainty that their information has been appropriately handled.
“This is HealthLink’s first foray into optometry, although we already support many ophthalmology practices across Australia and New Zealand. Our partnership philosophy is to work with experts in specialized fields of healthcare information technology and together to build world-class systems,” said Tom Bowden, CEO and co-founder of HealthLink.
Dr. Taylor explained, “Our vision is to link the eye care ecosystem – everyone who helps patients have the best vision and best eye care. This goes beyond ophthalmologists and optometrists to connecting GPs, hospital eye services and low vision support organisations to all work together with patients at the heart of it all.”
“We think the timing of this partnership with HealthLink is particularly apt, given the recent release of the RACGP’s position statement on electronic communication and call for the phasing out of paper-based communications like faxes within three years.”1
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. The use of secure electronic communication within the health care system. Sept 2015. www.racgp.org.au/your-practice/ehealth/additional-resources/racgp-position-statement-the-use-of-secure-electronic-communication-within-the-health-care-system/