Benefits for Orthoptists
The bottom line:
- A vision screening programme usually involves a variety of clinicians including orthoptists, optometrists and ophthalmologists.
- All play a vital role in ensuring that children with vision problems are reliably detected and receive the appropriate management or intervention.
- The School Screener does not replace the need for clinicians, it simply ensures that clinicians spend their time efficiently – examining the eyes of children, rather than carrying out primary screening and administration.
Primary screening does not require an eye care professional!
The purpose of primary screening is to identify children with the target conditions – not to diagnose.
With appropriate tools and training, this role can be performed with excellent sensitivity and specificity by suitably trained “health screeners” freeing up clinicians to make full use of their skills in examining the children who are referred as a result of the primary screening.
The School Screener provides a simple and reliable tool for performing the primary vision and hearing screening. It can be operated by those with minimal knowledge of vision or hearing and basic computer skills.
Clinicians should not waste their time on admin!
Management of a screening programme requires a large amount of co-ordination and administration. Clinicians often get embroiled in this process but it clearly not a good use of their skills or resources in general.
The School Screener automates the entire process minimising the administrative load and thereby freeing clinicians to do the job they were trained for.
Screening without a well-managed pathway is pointless!
There is no point in screening in the first place unless there is a pathway in place to ensure all those identified as having a vision problem, receive the treatment or correction required.
Many vision screening schemes have inadequate pathways in place and very little monitoring of childrens’ progress through the pathway. As a result, many children identified by the screening never receive the intervention they need.
The School Screener monitors the progress of children through the pathway and provides real-time audit data relating to the pass/fail rate and the number of true and false positives attending the secondary clinic. This provides programme directors with the information required to manage a sensitive, specific and very cost effective screening programme.
Using the School Screener system we can ensure that most children with vision problems are seen in the eye clinic.
As an orthoptist, I can use my skills where they are needed most – in the secondary clinic examining those with poor vision rather than screening.