American Optometric Association Forms Project Team to Address Integrated Eyecare

ST. LOUIS—As part of an effort to encourage all eyecare professionals to work together for better patient care, the American Optometric Association is launching a new Integrated Eyecare Project Team that will analyze models of care and set out elements to develop an efficient, productive and patient-centric system, according to an announcement from the AOA.

The project team consists of a group of optometrists with experience in the delivery of integrated eye care services, according to AOA Trustee and project team Chair Christopher Quinn, OD. The AOA Integrated Eyecare Project Team members are: Christopher J. Quinn, OD, chair; Clarke Newman, OD; Cynthia Murrill, OD; Jim Thimons, OD; Samuel Pierce, OD, AOA trustee; Randy Reichle, OD; and Robert Prouty, OD.

Quinn told VMail, “AOA president Ron Hopping appointed these leaders in the profession of optometry because of their deep and meaningful experience practicing in an integrated care environment. That experience should translate into developing models of care which result in excellent coordination of care between eye doctors and outstanding patient outcomes. Efficiency of care as well as quality of care will be carefully considered in any model focused on what is best for patients,” Quinn added.

“The main focus of our project team will be to analyze existing models of integrated care and to define those elements that result in integrated care teams that deliver high quality, efficient patient care,” he said. “ Over the past several years, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS) and several prominent ophthalmologists have been promoting their version/vision of ‘integrated eye care,’” said Quinn. “Unfortunately, in my understanding, their model takes a very limited perspective of the potential benefits of integrated eyecare delivery, focusing on the benefit to individual ophthalmologists. Optometry’s vision for how our professions can work together will be focused on better patient care and outcomes.”

Quinn said, within the next few weeks, the group will hold its first meeting electronically. Plans for additional meetings will be determined once the group has a chance to organize and begin its research. Although there is no specific timetable for coming up with an integrated model, the group hopes to have some meaningful recommendations within the next several months, according to Quinn.