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Australian eye hospital recognised at international conference

20/06/2018By Matthew Woodley
The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (Eye and Ear) has been awarded Best Poster at the World Association of Eye Hospitals (WAEH) 2018 annual meeting.

More than 130 delegates from 33 member hospitals attended this year’s event at the Kellogg Eye Center in the US, which mainly focused on improving the experience, care and outcomes of patients with eye disorders.

“We’ve been trying to work out new models of care with the aim being that people who have low risk glaucoma have it managed in the community.”
Mark Petty, Eye and Ear

Eye and Ear CEO Mr Mark Petty attended the meeting with Emergency Department manager Mr Ramil Tranquilino, and he said the main purpose of the meetings was also to share knowledge and experience of eye health management from the different member hospitals.

“It does have some clinical content, but it’s more concerned with management of patients, systems of care, quality and safety, new innovations, building design, and use of artificial intelligence in eye health management,” he said.

Eye and Ear’s poster included information on the hospital and also some of its more innovative practices, such as the collaborative approach to glaucoma that it was trialling in preparation for the expected increase in the prevalence of the disease.

“We’ve been trying to work out new models of care with the aim being that people who have low risk glaucoma have it managed in the community,” Petty said.

“We’ve developed a program with the Australian College of Optometry where they manage low risk patients in the community. Over the last year-and-a-half that project has been quite successful in managing several hundred patients in the community, which frees up appointments in the hospital to enable us to treat the more acute patients.”

Petty also added that delegates had been particularly interested in the telehealth services the hospital had been developing over the past two-and-a-half years.

“We’ve set up some telehealth clinics with regional and rural hospitals in Victoria, and we also have developed a device called eyeConnect, so that if someone [with an eye injury] presents at an emergency department that’s not very experienced with eyecare, they can use this device which takes pictures and measurements of the eye and send it to us,” Petty explained.

“We’re able to determine whether the patient has a real problem and should be sent here, or if not, we provide a treatment plan they can follow. We’re finding that two-thirds of patients don’t need to come here, so often that saves them 2–4 hours travel and takes pressure off us as well.”

Carl Zeiss

WAEH was formed in 2007 and counts internationally recognised eye institutions such as Moorfields Eye Hospital, Singapore National Eye Center and the Rotterdam Eye Hospital as founding members.

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