Optometrists in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory now have instantaneous access to patient reports and images thanks to an initiative launched by the Centre for Eye Health.
In the past, the Centre for Eye Health has been compelled to send records and images to optometrists by post due to issues surrounding confidentiality.
“Current legislation with respect to patient confidentiality and medical records mean that it is not legal to send a patient report via e-mail without de-identifying their details, even between an optometrist and a local ophthalmologist. As a result, it is not possible to email our reports as it is critical that the images are assigned to the correct patients,” said Michael Yapp, the Chief staff optometrist and head of the electronic reporting project.
“We have worked with Healthlink, Houston and Medinexus to customise an online infrastructure so that we can now send patient reports and images without the need to de-identify patient information. It also means reports are in a format that can work with both a hard copy and soft copy filing system at the optometrists’ end. What’s more, we send the reports instantaneously to speed up turnaround times by not relying on ‘snail mail’, as well as increasing the quality of the images received by the referrers, by not relying on print media.”
The Centre, which previously provided reports in a hard-copy format, will transfer all reports to the electronic format.