We’re thrilled to be partnering with Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) across the Midlands to speed up the referral process for eye care services. Together, we are introducing the Midlands Electronic eyecare Referral System (EeRS), which will support clinicians across the region to streamline referrals and direct patients to the most appropriate form of care sooner.
Using the Cinapsis platform, optometrists will be able to request real-time specialist advice from ophthalmologists at local hospitals. They can securely share high-resolution clinical images, documents, complete OCT scans and videos through the system, providing the ophthalmologist with enough information to remotely advise on whether a referral to secondary care is needed.
If specialist treatment is deemed necessary, the optometrist can then directly refer the patient via the same system - without the need for any additional data entry or administration. Where a referral is deemed unnecessary, the patient can be triaged to a more appropriate service or care pathway within primary care or the community.
By connecting clinicians across primary and secondary care, and enabling them to share timely advice and guidance, the system is helping to reduce the number of unnecessary referrals being made to specialist eye care services. This is helping to streamline waiting lists for those who need urgent treatment, while reducing the amount of time spent by GPs in processing eye care referrals and enabling practice teams more time to support other patients.
Rebecca Woods, NHS England Midlands Head of Primary Care Commissioning said:
“This is great news; the new system means we can process referrals quicker and patients can access services sooner. It will improve the quality of referrals, so we get accurate, detailed information from the beginning. Clinicians can choose where the referral is sent, and easily track it, helping to reduce patient anxiety. It is a much more efficient process and will reduce the need to repeat tests that have already been undertaken and may mean fewer visits to the hospital.
Dr Owain Rhys Hughes, Founder and CEO at Cinapsis, said:
“We’re delighted to be working with systems and providers across the Midlands to deliver faster, streamlined eye care referrals through the Midlands Electronic eyecare Referral System. With ophthalmology patients currently facing some of the largest wait times nationwide, this is an incredibly positive step towards supporting clinicians to speed up access to care for patients and to be able to deal with the more complex cases in a timely way.
“By enabling clinicians across primary and secondary care to communicate and share specialist advice and guidance in real-time, this is enabling more collaborative and efficient referral decisions to be made. As a result, clinicians are able to direct patients to the right source of care, sooner – and reduce the risk of patients joining hospital wait lists unnecessarily.”
The Midlands Electronic eyecare Referral System will be rolled out across an initial three regions, before being expanded across 11 ICBs over the next 12 months. This new partnership will increase the number of patients within areas using Cinapsis by 145%, from 7.3 million to 17.9 million.