From the moment Specsavers entered the Australian market in 2007, it has proudly operated with an ethos of ensuring accessibility to quality eyecare and eyewear. It had three goals to ensure this ethos was achieved – price, location and a focus on health. That is, offering bulk-billed comprehensive eye tests and great quality glasses at a fraction of the price found elsewhere; growing the quantity of practices spread across the country and putting them on high streets and in shopping malls, making it a lot simpler for people to access optometry; and ensuring that the optometry profession was doing all it could do to enhance eye health outcomes for Australians and prevent vision loss that could have been avoided.
Specsavers is in a unique position, having done a lot of the hard yards over many years to successfully develop and support measures that lead to improved eye health outcomes for patients. We see more than 3 million patients for eye tests each year in Australia and monitor the trends and patterns in referral rates, visual acuity and return rates amongst others to develop evidence-based strategies to improve patient outcomes.
We know that no man is an island though, so we work closely in well-formed strategic partnerships with many players in the sector to collaboratively develop models of care that are sustainable and lead to true change. KeepSight is an example of this, and in our fifth year of support, we are encouraged by the trends we’re seeing in patients with diabetes accessing eyecare, both returning patients and those accessing care for the first time. We’re also thrilled to see that the wider optometric industry also recognises the importance of this initiative, with 80% of the sector now able to seamlessly register patients to KeepSight.