Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) is seeking the help of all eye health professionals to reach the estimated over 1.7 million Australians with macular disease. We need to work collaboratively to improve health literacy and encourage patients to take early action to save sight.
By referring any patient at risk of or living with macular disease to the MDFA, as part of an integrated care model, you are ensuring patients will be better supported to improve their understanding of their condition, minimise risk factors for progression and live optimally.
While you may know of MDFA through its public awareness campaigns, such as its Macular Month initiative each year, the organisation has four pillars of work – prevention and early detection, patient support, advocacy and research.
MDFA’s remit is to provide right information at the right time and provide tele-coaching, information education and support. Through our National Helpline and other service offerings, MDFA can support your patients, their families and carers from early diagnosis and throughout their journey with macular disease. MDFA provides free information and support to Australians living with or at risk of macular disease with tele coaching, free resources, peer to peer support. MDFA provides a united voice for the macular disease community. We provide services, resources to support the community to minimise progressive vision loss and live optimally with macular conditions.
Eye health professionals are encouraged to connect their patients to MDFA at the earliest opportunity for expert, independent and free advice, and support.
Significant work has been achieved in recent times to integrate patient clinical care between optometrists, orthoptists, and ophthalmologists. MDFA, however, continues to experience a high demand from new and existing patients seeking disease specific information, and other non-clinical advice such as diet and lifestyle and highly valued resources and information to live optimally with macular disease.
Our trained tele-coaching and education staff (all of whom has vision science backgrounds) can also help your patients navigate complex government supports, services and entitlements. We can provide advice to help Australians live well with macular disease and/or vision loss. And we can connect them with transport and local community supports and low vision services. Our telephone Peer to Peer program is manned by volunteers, who have lived experience of macular disease. There is also a face to face Peer support group pilot underway in Melbourne. These new initiatives provide a free check-in service with patients and promote well-being and self-empowerment.
How to connect with MDFA
MDFA is now partnering with Oculo to enable patients with macular conditions to be connected to MDFA for immediate and ongoing support. When making a medical retina or diabetic retinopathy / diabetic macular edema referral, ophthalmologists and optometrists can connect patients to MDFA.
See tutorial on referring patients to MDFA with medical retina or diabetes when referring to a specialist
The process is simple and allows you to easily record patient consent to pass on contact details to MDFA for follow up. You can also refer to the MDFA when writing an eye report to a GP.
See tutorial.on referring patients to MDFA when writing an eye report for GP
*Other* = patient referral programs (ie inservio and smartsight and SEH) and verbal referrals
Via the MDFA website
Clinicians can also refer patients through our website.
MDFA is able to provide you with a traditional printed form which we can personalise to your practice, that can be scanned and returned to MDFA.
What can your patient expect once you have referred them?
When you register your patients with us you can be assured that they will be in good hands. They can expect to receive:
• a phone call within five business days to assess their needs
• right information at the right time plus free resources and tools
• education and well-being coaching
• nutrition and lifestyle coaching and resources
• invitations to relevant free education forums including webinars
• navigational and linkage support to government and other low vision services if required
• access to peer to peer telephone support and face to face peer support group.
By working together, we can offer Australians a quality, integrated care team solution – for all their needs when living with a macular condition. Together we can have a long-lasting, positive impact on people’s quality of life and promote better patient outcomes.