The government of Alberta has announced changes that will improve access to quality eye care for all Albertans.
Doctors of optometry are highly trained eye doctors who examine, diagnose, treat and correct conditions, diseases and disorders of the human visual system, the eye and its associated structures. As well as providing comprehensive eye and vision care services, optometrists play a major role in a patients overall health and well being by detecting ocular signs of systemic diseases such as diabetes and blood pressure.
The role of Optometrists is going to provide Albertans with improved access to essential eye care services. By increasing the scope of practice of Alberta optometrists, the need for referrals to specialists for basic eye services can be reduced and patients will have immediate access to the eye closer to home.
Optometrists of Alberta, the first province of Canada, underwent further training and exams set in October of this year. The new legislation will now allow Optometrists to:
1. prescribe oral or topical drugs within the practice of Optometry
2. Glaucoma treatment- to co-manage and help treat Glaucoma patients
3. Lab testing and Diagnostic imaging- Doctors of Optometry will now have the authority to order lab tests and certain diagnostic imaging. Many systemic disorders exhibit ocular signs and symptoms. Earlier access to blood work results and diagnostic imaging can help treat patients.
This new scope of Optometry will improve access to vision care services. This will aid in improved patient outcomes by enhanced patient compliance and prompt intervention. The new legislation changes within the profession will allow optometrists to better collaborate and communicate with physicians and other health care practitioners in the continuing care of patients.
We at EyedeologyTM are very excited about the new changes in our profession. We always give a full comprehensive eye exam, but now are even more excited as we are allowed to provide extra services and treat more ocular problems more than ever before!!