There has been a strong uptake of the Oculo electronic referral platform across Australian Specsavers stores since Specsavers invested in the integration of the technology into its practice management system, SOCRATES.

The integration of Oculo into SOCRATES offers a number of benefits to optometrists: it streamlines the patient referral process to ophthalmologists and GPs, saves optometrists valuable time by pre-filling data from patient records and contact details from well-established ophthalmologists, creates a searchable database of information, and ensures patients are set for optimal care through a secure, effective and efficient referral process.

The integration was completed on 30 August 2017 and feedback from optometrists since then has been positive. In the video above, Craig Rolley, Optometry Partner at Specsavers Joondalup in Western Australia, speaks about some of the ways in which the platform has benefitted his practice.

More than 80% of Specsavers’ Australian stores are now using the platform to regularly refer to GPs and ophthalmologists, with this percentage continuing to rise.

For patients with conditions that require the support of a team of professionals for optimum outcomes, such as diabetes, this communication channel will improve the quality of collaborative care. This leads the way for research into how the quality of referrals can be improved to further enhance patient outcomes; Specsavers launched a joint research project with RANZCO in July 2017 for this purpose.

Gathering evidence of the levels and prevalence of eye disease through consistent communication will additionally provide government with confidence in the critical role optometrists play in preventing avoidable blindness, which will ultimately drive the advancement of the profession and result in better patient care.