The dedication of eye care professionals never fails to impress or inspire me. There’s an over-riding commitment to achieving best patient outcomes that shines through bright and strong in every conversation we have, regardless of whether we’re speaking with optometrists, ophthalmologists, dispensers, educators or not for profits.
Yet when it comes to who delivers that care and how it happens, there are a few wrinkles in the system. In August RANZCO and Specsavers announced an historic non-binding non-exclusive agreement to work together to improve patient care pathways. The idea was to develop new, simplified guidelines, drawing on existing guidelines for eye diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, then measure and assess their value against patient outcomes. There has been plenty of discussion in response to the announcement, some questioning the rationale behind the collaborative effort and its potential impact.
This issue mivision spoke with Dr. David Andrews, CEO of RANZCO and Peter Larsen, Specsavers’ Director of Optometry to unpack the background to the arrangement and clarify the intent. We also spoke to Genevieve Quilty, National CEO of Optometry Australia to get an understanding of the Association’s perspective on the initiative. It’s our lead story and it’s well worth a read.
As we move towards the close of the year, another crop of young graduates is emerging from universities around the country, eager to get their feet in the door of optometry and find their place in the sector. This issue we spoke to some of Australia’s brightest young lights in optometry to find out how they got their start, what they found most daunting in their early years of practice and the attributions they feel were most important to getting ahead. We also spoke to the more experienced optometrist, Amira Howari about the many different career opportunities available to optometrists today.
Yet when it comes to who delivers that care and how it happens, there are a few wrinkles in the system
October brings us closer to the end of the CPD year, making the education articles in this issue, and next, more important than ever for those who have not acquired their necessary points. Professor Pete Smith tackles the timely issue of ocular allergies, highlighting the need for optometrists, ophthalmologists, pharmacists and allergists to collaborate for optimum patient outcomes. With 20 per cent of the population suffering from ocular allergies, some experiencing significant health impacts, this is more than a nuisance seasonal issue. Our second education article, written by optometrist Nicola Peaper presents a compelling argument for why you should be spending more time talking to patients about digital eye strain.
Our ophthalmology column this issue is written by Professor John Marshall, who discusses a specially designed laser – the 2RT developed by South Australian company Ellex Medical Lasers – which may help improve Bruch’s membrane function and in doing so, delay the development of age-related macular degeneration.
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook… are you currently promoting your business using any of these social media tools? Do you have a website and are you keeping it up to date? This issue Laura Boland, Digital Marketing Manager at Essilor Australia, delivers a lesson on how you can make use of the digital space to build business in your local area. If you’ve never contemplated the idea, this is a great article to get you started.
You’ll find plenty of interesting reading in this issue of mivision.