KINGWOOD, Texas—With the number of Americans living with one or more chronic disorders on the rise, Vision Source announced last week the creation of a new ocular monitoring network that is designed to improve patient outcomes. The new service, which officially launches in June, is called My Treatment Monitor, and it will be the “only national optometric network developed to improve patient care outcomes for people living with and taking medications for chronic diseases.” This includes such diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hyperlipidemia and Alzheimer’s, according to the announcement from Vision Source.

Vision Source is North America’s largest independent optometric alliance, with more than 4,600 optometrists and 3,300 practice locations.

According to the announcement, the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that approximately 133 million Americans are affected by incurable and ongoing chronic disease. Estimates predict that by 2020 over 157 million Americans will be living with more than one chronic disorder. “Many of these chronic diseases, and their treatments, can affect the health of the eye,” Vision Source noted in its announcement.

Various patient care programs dealing with chronic disease include prescribing medication for treatment. Through My Treatment Monitor, Vision Source optometrists will lead the process of monitoring patients taking medications to treat chronic disease with possible ocular side effects, the announcement noted.

“Vision Source is proud to be at the forefront of advanced chronic disease treatment by launching My Treatment Monitor,” president and chief executive officer Jim Greenwood said in the statement. “Chronic diseases can directly affect a patient’s eye health and vision. Through the development of My Treatment Monitor, we further our commitment to providing the best treatment, monitoring, and prevention plans for patients managing a chronic disease.”

Optometrists within the My Treatment Monitor network, will provide comprehensive medical examinations for patients with a chronic disease diagnosis as a pre-existing condition. After a drug to treat chronic disease is prescribed, doctors will ensure their patients are examined to establish that no pre-existing conditions affect the patient’s safety. Vision Source providers will also monitor patients on treatment medications to ensure patient safety continues, the announcement noted.

Vision Source vice president and chief medical officer Dr. Paul Williams said the launch of My Treatment Monitor will mean that Vision Source is the only network in the U.S. to provide system-wide collaborative eye health and vision care in support of physicians providing care and treatment for patients with chronic disease.

He added, “As an alliance, Vision Source has worked to improve patient outcomes by collaborating with accountable care organizations, integrated networks, and health plans across North America. By introducing My Treatment Monitor to the health care community, we have extended our ability to effectively ensure quality and safety for patients with chronic disease, close care gaps and further improve patient outcomes.”