Data and and learnings on key trends need to be shared between all industry stakeholders to accelerate the advancements made in optometry practices and to direct resources strategically to achieve maximum results.
The purpose of Specsavers HealthHub is to share learnings and patient outcomes to illustrate both the significant contribution of the optometry workforce to the wider health care system and share the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the industry based on our data. For example, as significant improvements have been made in the detection and management of glaucoma that now challenge the 50% undiagnosed statistic, it is incumbent on the industry and governing bodies to evaluate what this means for long-term, sustainable prevention of the disease.
The outcome for our patients depends on assurance and accountability across the industry. Large-scale data provides much needed visibility on the current patterns of detection of major eye diseases and how this may differ from reported population prevalence and identify the areas where systemised eyecare models can close the gap.
Accountability is required for the institutions, both public and private, that fund eyecare in Australia and New Zealand. Now more than ever, accessibility and affordability are key drivers for a system that supports preventative eyecare. Specsavers data provides vital evidence to substantiate the importance of subsidised eyecare services. Patient outcome data has been readily supplied to key patient support and advocacy groups, as well as health funds, to provide key insights and drive a holistic approach to future initiatives.
Data has also been shared with RANZCO and local ophthalmologists to ensure collaborative care is directed by those providing sight-saving treatment, and pathways developed are optimised to address patient needs and balance the load appropriately between the primary and tertiary eye health systems.
Prevention is undoubtedly cost-effective in both the short and longer term, as the population ages and pressure mounts on the health care system. The data proves that targeted investment in preventive models of eyecare will contribute to wider sustainability and deliver economic and social benefits for years to come.