Specsavers Eye Health report reveals increase in patient referrals

The second annual Specsavers Eye Health Report 2019-20 has been released.

This annual report sets the benchmark on eye disease prevalence, detection and diagnosis rates while providing guidance to the eye health professions, related stakeholders and government on the measured facts surrounding eye care, eye disease and eye health in Australia and New Zealand.

This year, data from 8.5 million patient journeys was reviewed to quantify the impact of clinical strategies, as well as the Australian public’s attitudes towards eye health.

The 2019-20 report has revealed referrals for eye disease are soaring to unprecedented levels thanks to the systematic use of imaging technology and ophthalmology-led education, as well as other clinical interventions.

Specsavers Optometrist Michael Simpson said the addition of OCT as a standard part of care for all patients was ground-breaking in optometry and is already helping to detect earlier signs of eye diseases that could not previously be detected by optometrists.

“When you compare the referral data before and after OCT was implemented, you can see the remarkable difference that using this technology on every patient is making. For example, from July to December 2017, when OCT was only used by 4% of Specsavers practices, 10,562 patients were referred to specialists for suspected glaucoma (0.68% of patients). In January to June 2018, when 83% of Specsavers practices used OCT, this number doubled to 20,516 (1.3% of patients).

Glaucoma detection rate comparison
For all the latest on Glaucoma detection and referrals, see page 64 of the report.

“Similarly, diabetic retinopathy referrals have increased from 3,109 (of which 366 were identified with macular oedema) in that same 2017 date period, compared to 6,494 (of which 620 were identified with macular oedema) in 2019.”

The diagnostic sensitivity of OCT and the additional clinical information it provides is also enabling optometrists to detect macular oedema at enhanced levels due to the increased visualisation it offers of the eye’s retinal structures.

Diabetic eye referrals
For the latest updates and developments in diabetes-related eye disease, see page 69 of the report.

The 2019-20 report builds on the inaugural State of the Nation Eye Health Report, published in October last year and is the largest dataset of its kind available in the region, increasing this year by another 3.5 million data points.

Australian eye conditions
The latest in patient research and eye health.

The comprehensive report presents collective data of a significant cross-section of both the Australian and New Zealand populations; it is packed with case studies and key statistics, looks at both nations’ relationship with eye health while zeroing in on the main causes of avoidable blindness, children’s eye health, indigenous eye health and more.

To download the Specsavers Eye Health Report 2019-20: click the cover image below.