To recognise World Glaucoma Week, the Specsavers Clinical Conference 2021 Online Series kicked off on Tuesday 9 March with a special event webinar.
Hosted by Dr Joseph Paul from the Specsavers Optometry team, nearly 500 people joined the event that featured a live presentation from Dr Katherine Masselos, a glaucoma specialist in both public and private practice in NSW, as well as a video from Glaucoma Australia CEO Annie Gibbins.
Dr Paul opened the webinar with a look back at Specsavers’ glaucoma journey over the past five years. With studies showing 50% of glaucoma goes undiagnosed in the community, Specsavers’ journey started with a single goal – to detect every case of glaucoma in our patients.
Over the course of the next five years, Specsavers systematically put steps in place to improve our glaucoma care, starting with measuring and benchmarking glaucoma patient data to ensure there was a baseline to evaluate progress against.
Piloting, testing, and eventually rolling out OCT to every store across the Specsavers network, ensuring every patient receives an OCT as part of their eye test, followed by partnering with RANZCO to develop patient care pathways were two key steps in the journey. Coupled with a dedicated CPD and glaucoma education focus across all stores, and the results just a few short years later are already speaking for themselves.
Dr Paul celebrated that since 2018, Specsavers has ensured more than 40,000 new patients with glaucoma are now in the care of an ophthalmologist, and he estimates we have reduced the level of undiagnosed glaucoma by at least 60% in our patients.
That is a tremendous impact in reducing undiagnosed glaucoma and improving the care for our patients, and a huge testament to the work of every Specsavers optometrist.
Dr Masselos then delivered a thoroughly in-depth and engaging presentation, looking at case studies on how OCT is used for diagnosis and management of glaucoma. Providing insight into opportunities and areas to watch out for when using OCT for glaucoma detection and referral, Dr Masselos also answered live questions from the audience.
Annie Gibbins closed the event talking through the key focus areas for Glaucoma Australia. Annie also presented the results of a comprehensive survey Glaucoma Australia undertook of its patient base, which showed just how much value and impact Glaucoma Australia is having in supporting and improving health outcomes for patients.
However, while the impact is demonstrable, referrals from Specsavers to Glaucoma Australia have reduced, and Annie made an impassioned plea for feedback on how this can be improved. If you would like to provide feedback to Glaucoma Australia on referrals, you can complete a short survey here.
The full SCC 2021 Online Series program will be launched shortly, so please keep an eye out for further details soon.