OLEEP contributes to uncovering of undiagnosed glaucoma cohort

Patients are being referred for glaucoma at a rate consistent with national prevalence data from Specsavers stores that have been involved in RANZCO and Specsavers’ jointly facilitated Ophthalmologist Local Education and Engagement Program (OLEEP), according to the latest data.

OLEEP continues to be rolled out across Australia and New Zealand, with a total of 15 sessions attended by 150 optometrists having now been held across a total of more than 90 stores.

Data from the Oculo electronic referral platform shows that participating OLEEP stores are currently referring on average 35% more patients for glaucoma than in the 12 weeks prior to completing their first OLEEP event.

The data also shows that stores that have had at least one OLEEP session refer on average 1.4% of all patients seen in practice for glaucoma. This is consistent with the glaucoma prevalence rate as established by national population prevalence studies.

“These early results are evidence that Specsavers’ eye health strategies are continuing to have a positive impact on patients,” commented Dr Ben Ashby, PhD, Specsavers’ Director of Optometry.

“Tailored, ophthalmologist-led education; the use of OCT on every patient and functional testing when clinically indicated; utilisation of the RANZCO referral pathways; and the clinical expertise of our optometry workforce, continually enhanced through quality professional development – all these strategies are now coming together to uncover the 50% undiagnosed glaucoma cohort.”

Specsavers Optometry Development Consultant Dr Joseph Paul, PhD, said that more than 25 OLEEP sessions were planned to take place before the end of the year.

“OLEEP has been shown to have a measurable impact on patient outcomes, and I encourage all Specsavers optometrists to attend and engage in these CPD events to see for themselves how the program can enhance their clinical practice,” he said.

OLEEP is a collaboration between RANZCO and Specsavers and connects groups of Specsavers optometrists with local RANZCO ophthalmologists for a series of ophthalmologist-led education and professional development events. OLEEP focusses on ongoing, patient outcome- and feedback-based education, with each session involving reflection on both individual and group changes in referral patterns and patient outcomes using Specsavers’ professional benchmark summaries. This reflection guides the development focus of future OLEEP sessions, ensuring that the education provided is specifically targeted to the participating optometrists’ needs.

Ophthalmologists and Specsavers optometrists interested in being involved in the program can email anz.oleep@specsavers.com for more information.