(L-R) Nick Hannan, Yumi Ogura and Kymo Elghitany
By Sandra Shaw
National Communications Manager
What does the Specsavers Narellan store do that has earned it the Clinical Excellence Award from the field of other Specsavers Optical Group stores in Australia and New Zealand?
The store’s partners are optometrists Yumi Ogura and Kymo Elghitany, and dispenser Nick Hannan. It has 29 staff members, including six full-time optometrists.
Ms Ogura says they conduct comprehensive eye testing on almost every patient, including fundus photos and IOPs, and focus on the importance of excellent record-keeping.
‘We do a significant number of visual tests, 14 per cent of consultations, that aid in clinical management prior to referrals and also as ongoing comanagement of existing glaucoma patients with our local ophthalmologists,’ she said.
She describes the optometry team as diverse, explaining that it holds discussions daily regarding interesting clinical cases, and notes that they pride themselves in their ability to mentor and develop student and graduate optometrists from any optometry school.
‘With our existing team, we engage in regular peer-to-peer mentoring, regularly sitting in on each other’s consultations to improve and advance our techniques. We have a strong culture of advancing our optometry team’s clinical skills and our areas of interest with continuing education courses and local ophthalmologist visits,’ she said.
‘We are advocates for the new Oculo referral platform to improve relationships and comanagement with local ophthalmologists and GPs, and we have a strong presence in our local community doing regular primary school screenings as we acknowledge that there is a high incidence of undiagnosed vision problems in children.
‘Some team members are generous with donating time by volunteering with various outreach programs including an upcoming mission with YWAM Medical Ships.’
The Specsavers awards were presented in front of more than 800 people including partners, special guests and sponsors, at a lavish dinner held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney on 4 March.
The award of Australian Store of the Year was won by Specsavers Strathpine.
Lisa Wilkinson, host of the Today television breakfast show, compered the evening. Barry Humphries enthralled the crowd as he performed in the guise of Dame Edna Everage and presented a cheque to the cancer support charity CanTeen for $125,400, raised from funds donated on the night.
The awards dinner followed the Partnership Seminar, at which about 600 Specsavers partners from across Australia and New Zealand gathered at the venue earlier that day. The day seminar was compered by Channel 9’s Ross Greenwood, and Specsavers global CEO John Perkins gave a key address. Optometry director Peter Larsen talked about the rapid ‘medicalisation’ of optometry and the need for optometrists and ophthalmologists to work more closely together.