Work is continuing on the integration of eyecare services in Scotland with the the introduction of a process for electronic patient referral from optometrists to hospital eye services and electronic payments for optometrists.
The key benefits of electronic referral will be:
- Reduction in the time from referral to treatment for patients
- Allocation of patient to the correct clinic at first hospital visit
- Reduction in unscheduled attendances
- Identification of patients suitable for community care
Another element of the Eye Care Integration Programme has been the introduction of electronic submission of claims for payment from ophthalmic practices to Practitioner Services. Practices with the requisite IT will be able to submit claims for payment electronically either by:
- System-to-system - sending the data directly from a Practice Management System to the payment system, or
- Web Form - keying the necessary information into a secure web page
In both instances access to the payments system will be via the secure links already established for eReferrals (i.e. VPN tokens).
The benefits to optometrists will be practices will get real-time validation of their claims, which will eliminate the vast majority or errors, leading to a quicker and more efficient system for practitioners and a quantum leap in data quality. There is also a look-up facility for practices to check a patient’s CHI number and find out when they last had a primary eye examination.
More information is available from NHS National Services Scotland: