Management & Coordination of the VR treatment team

Eye doctors are an integral part of the health care team for patients with low vision and neurological conditions. It essential that these patients are referred to a doctor of optometry in order to identify, treat and manage their vision health, as well as coordinate care among other providers.

As patients, health care professionals and policymakers better understand our role in patient care, more patients will regularly visit optometry practices and other professions will refer patients to doctors of optometry.

Because low vision impacts so many aspects of a patients' quality of life and independence, there are many different professions involved in VR treatment.

The vision rehabilitation treatment team includes:

  • Low-vision specialists (optometrists/ophthalmologists specializing in low vision)
    • Assess the visual impairment
    • Prescribes low vision devices to improve function
    • Creates a treatment plan and coordinates services with vision rehabilitation treatment team
    • Works with primary care physician, neurologists and other health care professionals to treat the vision and overall health of patients

  • Occupational therapy and physical therapy in outpatient rehabilitation centers
    • Train new skills such as eccentric viewing modify tasks and environments

  • Orientation and mobility specialists
    • Trains patients to move around better

  • Social workers
    • Finds solution to problems of social adjustment

  • Vocational rehabilitation counselors
    • Helps patients overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining or returning to employment or other useful occupation

  • Retinal specialists
    • Provides medical or surgical intervention of retinal disease

  • Certified low vision therapists
    • Trains the use of low vision devices and adaptive equipment

Primary Eye Care & VR Treatment Team

Regardless of whether you specialize in Vision Rehabilitation, your patients depend on you to identify their VR needs and connect them to a specialist. As primary eye care physicians, optometrists should be able to:

  1. Identify signs that their patient needs vision rehab services

  2. Be aware of practices in the area that offer VR services if they do not provide those services themselves

  3. Work with patients' primary care physicians and other treatment providers to identify health care concerns that impact patient's vision

  4. Refer sooner than later to a vision rehabilitation specialist

  5. Follow up with patients and vision rehabilitation specialist to help manage the patient's overall vision health  

Advocacy:

The AOA is committed helping our members can help manage the vision health of their patients, this includes

  1. Providing resources to help members coordinate and manage the VR treatment team

  2. Educating patients, policymakers, and other professions of:
  • Optometry's role in vision rehabilitation and overall health of the patient
  • The importance of regular comprehensive eye exams to identify and refer patients in need of VR services
  • Referring all patients with possible vision impairments or neurological conditions to doctors of optometry

Resources

Online Manuals





EyeLearn Lectures

2018 Optometry's Meeting®