From checkups to clear sight, how GPs and optometrists are working together for better eye health

From checkups to clear sight, how GPs and optometrists are working together for better eye health

31 January, 2024

In the leafy, winding roads of the Dandenong Ranges, Dr. Dan’s Medical Clinic is centrally located in the town of Monbulk, at the heart of its community. Recently, the community has benefited from the clinic's participation in a new quality improvement program aimed at enhancing eye screening and detecting eye conditions for at-risk groups across Victoria.

At the heart of the program’s success has been the solid relationship between Dr Dan and the local optometrist. Their collaboration not only contributed to community well-being but also fostered mutual learning, allowing each to gain insights into the other's discipline and enhance their individual knowledge.

Dr Dan’s Medical Clinic chose to educate the community by inviting patients to attend two information sessions on eye health. These sessions raised awareness about health conditions such as hypertension and/or diabetes in relation to eye health.

The follow up to the education element involved the clinic's staff actively engaging with patients during health assessments, specifically addressing questions related to their eye health. This often resulted in referrals from the medical clinic to the local optometrist.

This integrated care model had many health benefits for the community with eye checks identifying issues that were able to be diagnosed early and addressed. Patients were able to engage in preventative health care, leading to improved health outcomes.

Although the pilot program has now ended, Dr. Dan’s Medical Clinic is committed to ongoing collaboration with the local optometrist. The lessons learned from the program will be incorporated into their daily practices. The clinic was very complimentary of the support that they received from Melissa Morris, the program facilitator for eye health and EMPHN. The clinic aims to offer future sessions on health assessments and eye health to the wider community, emphasising early detection of eye conditions. By prioritizing eye health, individuals can continue to enjoy the world with clear vision and peace of mind.

Image: Dr Dan Jeyaseelan MBBS (Hons.) FRACGP and Nicola Jeyaseelan AAPM, Practice Manager