Oculo and HealthLink have signed an agreement to facilitate the flow of referrals from General Practitioners into Oculo’s optometrist users through secure electronic messaging. Oculo is a clinical communications platform for eye care. It has almost 300 ophthalmologists and 800 optometrists across Australia and is growing daily.
“Primary eye care needs to happen in the community,” says Kate Taylor, Oculo’s CEO. “We know that about half of people with diabetes and glaucoma aren’t getting adequate eye care. Making it easier for GPs to connect patients in to eye care services can help that. Making it seamless and secure is critical.”
HealthLink’s core focus is on ensuring that electronic communication processes are put in place to give patients certainty that their information has been appropriately handled.
“This is HealthLink’s first foray into optometry, although we already support many ophthalmology practices across Australia and New Zealand. Our partnership philosophy is to work with experts in specialized fields of healthcare information technology and together to build world-class systems,” says Tom Bowden, CEO and co-founder of HealthLink.
Dr Taylor explains, “Our vision is to link the eye care ecosystem – everyone who helps patients have the best vision and best eye care. This goes beyond ophthalmologists and optometrists to connecting GPs, hospital eye services and low vision support organizations to all work together with patients at the heart of it all.”
She continues, “We think the timing of this partnership with HealthLink is particularly apt, given yesterday’s release of the RACGP’s position statement on electronic communication and call for the phasing out of paper-based communications like faxes within three years.”[i]
HealthLink is an electronic communications and integration service that is used by all of the organisations within the health sector to exchange electronic patient information via their computer systems. HealthLink is used by more than 13,500 medical practices across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. The company has offices in Auckland, Brisbane, Townsville, Sydney and Wollongong. HealthLink has a growing presence in every Australian State and territory as well as an almost complete coverage of the New Zealand health sector. For more information contact or see www.healthlink.net
Oculo is an internet-based secure messaging service to connect clinical communications between eye care professionals. It grew out of the Centre for Eye Research Australia. Oculo’s aim is to promote the efficiency and quality of clinical communications – and ultimately to help deliver the best possible care to eye patients so that they may enjoy the best possible sight. Over 3 million people in Australia and New Zealand have or are at risk of blinding eye diseases and need regular eye checks. Eye care professionals can provide better care with secure, auditable and shared clinical records, including clinical imagery. For more information, see oculo.com.au
[i] Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. The use of secure electronic communication within the health care system. Sept 2015. http://www.racgp.org.au/your-practice/ehealth/additional-resources/racgp-position-statement-the-use-of-secure-electronic-communication-within-the-health-care-system/