Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
A significant number of patients cannot be cared for or monitored in the community, because not all optometrists have digitised slit lamps to send digital photos of the patient’s problem for clinicians to review remotely and offer advice.
Additionally, there is no mutually agreed (Ophthalmologist & Optometrist) information portal for management of patients in the community/primary care versus secondary care.
Furthermore, the majority of patients referred for surgery/therapeutic management, with problems affecting the front of the eye, are referred to secondary care without photographs of the problem. As a result, the majority of these patients have to be seen directly. This results in huge waiting lists and longer wait times for patients as well as patients coming to harm while waiting.
This project aims to maximally implement unutilised technology and digitisation to optimally transform outpatient care and service delivery.
- Optometrists digitalisation – All Optometrists who expressed an interest in the pilot study and digitalisation now have the digitalisation kit – Slit lamp adaptors needed.
- Digital health care information in the community for optometrists, GPs and Patients – via a new Tele-Ophthalmology website. Funding applied for but not granted – Hence unable to proceed with this. I hope at some point funding will be granted for this.
- Listing patients for surgery directly from the community following a review of the digital photographs of the patients pathology – we now have pilot virtual cataract clinics running.
- Optometrists digitalisation – All Optometrists in this pilot study with slit lamp adaptors are able to send in anterior segment referrals with photography. Clinicians can now receive referrals with photographs and as a result will be able to offer advice for therapeutic management in the community, list patients directly for surgery.
- Digital health care information in the community for optometrists, GPs and Patients – via a new Tele-Ophthalmology website. Funding applied for but not granted – Hopefully once funding is available, the impact will be huge.
- Listing patients for surgery directly from the community following a review of the digital photographs of the patients pathology – we now have a R&D approved virtual cataract clinics running and a number of patients have been operated on from the virtual cataract clinics. We are able to review 50% more patients in the virtual cataract clinics than in face to face clinics. In addition to this we do not require a clinic room for virtual reviews, hence a clinic room is freed up to be used for another clinic. This has not only more efficient, but results in increased financial savings.