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Een meting van het substitutiepotentieel binnen de oogzorg.

Hassel, D. van, Coops, A., Batenburg, R., Heus, P. Een meting van het substitutiepotentieel binnen de oogzorg. TSG: Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidswetenschappen: 2013, 91(8), p. 497-504.
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In recent years tasks reallocation between professions within Dutch eye care has been gaining importance in health policy, due to a higher demand for medical care and increasing financial costs. Empirical research focusing on the (potential) role of optometrists concerning task substitution barely exists, however. The aim of this study is to indicate the ‘substitution potential’ of optometrists within the eye care system. Based on patient-data of optometrists and general practitioners we estimated the substitution potential for a number of eye diseases. These diseases were judged as ‘substitutable’ according to two ophthalmologists and four optometrists. Results show that an annual shift of up to 207,000 general practitioner patients to the optometrist is possible, and up to 21,000 ophthalmologist patients can be prevented in case general practitioners refer patients with eye problems to the optometrist instead of the ophthalmologist. Our analysis estimated the potential pivotal volume taking by optometrists through task substitution within Dutch eye care. Results need to be interpreted carefully, however. A number of limitations have to be taken into account: (1) the list of potential substitutable’ eye diseases was assessed by only six experts, and (2) statistics on a limited number of eye diseases were available or comparable in datasets of general practice and optometrist practices. This study primarily provides a conceptual method to explore what volumes optometrists can attribute to task substitution within the Dutch eye care system. (aut.ref.)