Leading Eye Organizations Announce Eye Care Interprofessional Communication Protocol to Improve Eye Health Outcomes

November 21, 2022
The American Optometric Association in Partnership with The American Diabetes Association and Leading Eye Organizations Announce Eye Care Interprofessional Communication Protocol to Improve Eye Health Outcomes

American Diabetes Asscociation

ST. LOUIS, MO—(November 21, 2022)–Today, the American Optometric Association (AOA) in partnership with the American Diabetes Association® (ADA), the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retinal Specialists and the National Eye Institute, announced a new resource to improve communication between diabetes care clinicians and eye health clinicians.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of all people with diabetes don’t receive an annual dilated and comprehensive eye exam as recommended or are diagnosed with diabetes-related eye problems too late for effective treatment. In addition, an ADA survey found that health care professionals (HCPs) and eye care professionals (ECPs) prefer an efficient exchange of information to increase patient co-management. Effective and ongoing communication between HCPs and ECPs is crucial to improving eye health outcomes in patients with diabetes. The ADA convened leading eye health organizations to address the root of these communication issues and developed the new Eye Care Interprofessional Communication Protocol.

“Efficient communication between all parties can help people with diabetes take action to slow the progression or reverse the damage of diabetes-related eye disease, heal and protect vision. As we continue to tackle the needs of health care professionals and people with diabetes, we are excited to release this communication tool and continue the fight for improving outcomes for people with diabetes through better eye care,” said Dr. Robert Gabbay, chief scientific and medical officer for the ADA. 

“Every patient is different, but one barrier to care remains universal – provider to provider referrals can be complex, delayed and disorganized,” said AOA President Robert C. Layman, O.D. “This protocol helps providers understand which steps to take next to provide the best care coordination possible for their patients. This quick response can lead to improved outcomes in patients living with diabetes.”

The protocol includes two algorithms with narrative explanations detailing the recommended processes for eye care-related communications. The first algorithm focuses on appropriate referrals and eye care coordination for patients diagnosed with diabetes. The second algorithm offers guidance for eye care professionals who want to refer patients suspected to have undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes.

As part of the ADA’s ongoing commitment to increase awareness about the connection between diabetes and eye health, the Focus on Diabetes® initiative, in partnership with Visionary Partners, VSP Vision™, and Regeneron, is proud to support this effort.

Please visit our website to download the free protocol today!

About the American Optometric Association

The American Optometric Association (AOA) is the leading authority on and advocate for quality eye health care, representing more than 44,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and optometric professionals. As the sole primary eye care provider in many communities across America, doctors of optometry are often a patient's first entry point into the health care system, and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat, and manage disorders, diseases, and injuries that affect the eye and visual system. Through a nationwide public health initiative, AOA's Eye Deserve More campaign is fostering awareness of the importance of eye health and vision care and the overall health benefits of in-person, comprehensive eye examinations with AOA doctors of optometry for all Americans.

About the American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 82 years, the ADA has driven discovery and research to treat, manage, and prevent diabetes while working relentlessly for a cure. Through advocacy, program development, and education we aim to improve the quality of life for the over 133 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at  diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook ( American Diabetes Association), Spanish Facebook ( Asociación Americana de la Diabetes), LinkedIn ( American Diabetes Association), Twitter ( @AmDiabetesAssn), and Instagram ( @AmDiabetesAssn). 

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