Wait times have been reduced and follow up appointments streamlined for cataract surgery patients at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, following the introduction of a new clinic led by allied health professionals.
Selected patients are seen by upskilled orthoptists for their follow up appointment after surgery, rather than being seen by an ophthalmologist. If there are no clinical concerns, the orthoptist discharges the patient and communicates with their GP about any follow up care.
Previously patients could see several practitioners – an ophthalmologist, medical photographer, and orthoptist – as part of one appointment. Under the new model, the orthoptist manages the patient for the entire appointment.
Six orthoptists have undergone specialised training which included shadowing ophthalmologists during postoperative appointments, to be able to carry out follow up appointments after surgery to check post-operative healing.
Since the clinic started, over 300 eligible patients have been seen and treated in the new clinic, and over 150 have been discharged by orthoptists.