Clinical audit finds collaborative care model is safe and effective

A clinical audit of a collaborative care model between the Ophthalmology department at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and the Melbourne Eyecare Clinic (MEC) has found it to be safe and successful.

A child receives a clinical assessment from an optometrist at the clinic.

Both patients and parents reported an overall positive experience as part of the program.

The shared care model has referred more than 150 patients needing primary eye care at the RCH to the MEC, one of the faculty’s teaching clinics, improving their access to eye care by reducing their wait time by many months.

The audit found strong compliance with the co-management guidelines and protocols established as part of the collaboration, indicating that the eye care provided at the MEC was in-line with best practice and that there was no inferiority of care provided in a primary care optometry clinic compared to a hospital-based tertiary care setting.

Feedback showed that clinical needs were being met, with both patients and parents reporting an overall positive experience.

The collaborative care model also introduced students on placements at the clinic to shared-care models of interdisciplinary practice, and provided opportunities for them to perform clinical examinations.

The results from the audit were presented by clinic director Dr Andrew Huhtanen at the World Congress of Optometry’s O=MEGA23 conference held in Melbourne last week.