Diabetic eye disease is one of the most common complications of diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the major causes of blindness and vision impairment in Australia. More than a third of people with diabetes will develop diabetic eye disease in their lifetime. Almost everyone with type 1 and more than 60% of those with type 2 diabetes will develop some form of diabetic eye disease within 20 years of diagnosis.
Currently, up to 50% of Australians with diabetes do not undergo eye examinations at the recommended frequency of every two years.
The Western Sydney Diabetes Eye Screening Project is developing a standardised referral system with adequate medical information for GPs to provide to optometrists.
Following screening, a standardised comprehensive diabetes eye screening report has been developed in consultation with the Westmead Eye Service and ACI C Eye C project team for optometrists to report back to the GP.
The use of electronic referral system using Linked EHR and incorporating the standardised referral system from both general practice and optometrists will be available. This will facilitate easy tracking of reports, which will help GPs to accurately update the diabetes annual cycle of care of their patient thus improving health outcomes, and potentially benefitting the general practice by increasing Service Incentive Payments.
Updating the referral system process in HealthPathways would provide an easy access to the referral process, and updating the NHMRC guidelines in HealthPathways will increase awareness of the diabetes eye screening and management as per the guidelines.