'Three out of four patients don't need to be here' say eye clinics


09-05-2013

There are still many patients going to secondary care for dry eye problems that could be effectively treated in the community. This was the conclusion of independent research commissioned by Altacor, a specialist ophthalmic products company, to look at patient pathways.

Altacor to discuss findings at BCLA (Stand 30), 7-9th June 2013

The research, performed by Pathway Communications involved interviewing senior staff in Secondary Care referral units.  It revealed that 70 percent of referrals come via the GP and of those between 60 – 70 percent had mild to moderate eye conditions.

Each of the patients sent to secondary care with mild disease will get at least one outpatient appointment with moderate patients receiving additional follow-up appointments.

This means there is considerable room to generate efficiencies in the pathway, which would be better for patients and the NHS.

Chris Miller of Altacor said the findings showed that patients were still seeking advice on eye health from their GP rather than optometrist.

‘It was very clear that there are significant inefficiencies in the pathway driven by GPs’ low level of understanding of ophthalmology.

“This results in a significant number of patients being inappropriately treated for dry eye and referred to secondary care. It was the opinion of the responders that the majority of these patients could have been successfully treated in the community.”

The advice commonly given to patients coming to the eye clinics was to use eye drops specifically designed for dry eye four times a day and only to come back if this had not cleared the problem.

Altacor’s Clinitas eye drops for dry eye are available on prescription or over the counter. 

In addition, the company has produced a Blepharitis Relief Kit, which contains a microwaveable mask and a lid cleaner.  A warm compress and regular lid hygiene is recommended by ophthalmologists for a range of eye conditions.  The kit makes it easy to follow these instructions and is safe to use on the fragile eye area.

Chris Miller says that more education is required to encourage the public to seek expert advice about eyes from an optometrist. 

“Our diagnostic kits developed in conjunction with NO7 are easy to use and allow optometrists to diagnose dry eye with confidence.  This is a business opportunity for the industry and potential cost-saving for the NHS.” He said.

 

About Altacor - www.altacoreyeproducts.com

Altacor, based inCambridge, is a private specialty ophthalmology company.  It was founded in 2007 by Dr Francesca Crawford and Mr David Alcraft, to develop and market a range of innovative treatments for ocular conditions such as glaucoma and dry eye.

Altacor’s Clinitas products provide relief from mild to severe dry eye through a complete action on all three layers of the tear film, with three OTC products (Clinitas Soothe®, Clinitas Hydrate® and Clinitas Ultra 3®) and two prescription products (Clinitas® and Clinitas Gel®). Clinitas Soothe® and Clinitas® feature the highest concentration of hyaluronic acid (0.4%) available for external ophthalmic use in theUKandIrelandand benefit from a preservative-free formulation.

The Blepharitis Relief Kit includes the BlephaMask®, BlephaCura® liposomal suspension and BlephaCura® Pads, providing everything required to relieve the symptoms of the condition. The BlephaMask can be reheated and reused at least 300 times. The unique temperate testing strip also makes the mask a safer and more efficacious alternative to other hot compresses for use over the eyes. The BlephaCura suspension contains liposomes and vitamins to support and promote natural healing of the eyelid margins. Used with the 100% organic cotton BlephaCura Pads, the suspension ensures gentle but effective cleansing of the eyelids.

More information is available from www.altacoreyeproducts.com

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