WATCH: Working with Glaucoma Australia

Glaucoma Australia operates with a comprehensive referral response pathway which aims to deliver education and support to patients at four key stages of their glaucoma journey, focussing on early intervention and improving appointment and treatment adherence.
The stages are:
  • Stage 1 Pre-diagnosis / Suspected glaucoma
  • Stage 2 Recently diagnosed and starting treatment
  • Stage 3 Six months post diagnosis
  • Stage 4 12 months post diagnosis
Before the four-stage pathway was in place, patients engaged with Glaucoma Australia primarily during late stages of the condition, being referred by ophthalmologists once a glaucoma diagnosis had already been confirmed.
Now, Glaucoma Australia figures show that approximately one third of glaucoma suspects referred to an ophthalmologist had not actually booked an ophthalmic appointment when contacted by Glaucoma Australia, highlighting the need for earlier involvement in the patient journey.
Building on strong relationships with ophthalmology, Glaucoma Australia has worked hard to strengthen collaborative care pathways with optometrists in recent years, with the understanding that optometrists are, in many cases, the first point of contact for patients who have the condition.
In implementing the pathway, opportunities were identified to automate patient referrals through Oculo and formally incorporate patient support mechanisms into the standard care pathway for patients affected by, or at risk of, glaucoma.
Glaucoma Australia delves deeply into the patient data to better understand how to meet patient needs. As part of this analysis, 92% of people referred to Glaucoma Australia by optometrists are glaucoma patients or suspects. With earlier detection comes the need for robust and sustained support for these people to stay engaged with their eye health practitioners and compliant with their treatment – this is central to eliminating glaucoma blindness.
From 2018-2019, more than 4,000 patients received Glaucoma Australia service provision, 2,970 (73%) referred by a health professional. The data shows that 89% of these people were aged between 60-69 years old which contrasted starkly with the historical average of 80-89 years. This suggests that the average age of detection of glaucoma is reducing, in part due to the use of enhanced diagnostic technology, identifying clinical risk much earlier.