The Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record (NIECR) can now be accessed by community optometrists.
Information that optometrists will have access to includes underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, and any medications that a patient has been prescribed.
Details about ophthalmology appointments will be available through the system and optometrists will also have the ability to make electronic patient referrals.
Orion Health confirmed that 60% of the 271 optometry contractor practices in Northern Ireland have access to NIECR.
There were more than 1000 log-ins from optometrists in June.
The care record incorporates two-factor authentication and role-based access, providing optometrists with only a filtered view of the patient’s electronic care record.
Margaret McMullan, optometric clinical adviser at the Health and Social Care Board,highlighted that the benefit of the extension of NIECR to optometrists was recently illustrated when an elderly patient informed a locum that they had decided to stop taking their eye drops.
“On examination it was found that their eye pressure was extremely high and through the NIECR the locum was very quickly able to find out the name of the eye drops and inform the patient’s GP and family,” she shared.
“Previously this would have been a lengthy process and thereby risked damage to the patient’s eyes and a potential loss of sight,” Ms McMullan said.
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