Moorfields cloud-based platform could reduce unnecessary hospital referrals

Technology that allows for patients to be triaged remotely revealed that 52% of those referred to hospital eye services did not need specialist treatment

hospital entrance
Moorfields Eye Hospital and software company Big Picture have collaborated in the development of cloud-based technology aimed at reducing unnecessary hospital referrals.

Research published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology describes how 54 of the 103 patients initially classified as requiring referral to hospital did not require specialist treatment.

During a 10-month observation period, 11 optometrists examined the patients within the study and used the cloud-based referral platform to share information with a single consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Within the study group, 52% of patients were classified as ‘no referral necessary’ by the ophthalmologist.

The authors highlight the potential for cost savings if the technology was rolled out nationally.

“With current tariffs for professional first attendance consultations ranging from £139 to £175 and nearly eight million outpatient hospital eye service appointments yearly, we suspect a possible health economic impact of a cloud-based referral platform,” they observed.

Image credit: Moorfields Eye Hospital