On Wednesday, June 24, 2015, the Alberta Government issued formal approval to the revised Optometrists Profession Regulation. All optometrists who successfully completed the Advanced Scope of Practice Certification Course are now authorized to provide all of the new areas of practice including:
The Alberta College of Optometrists (ACO) has adopted and approved new Standards of Practice and Clinical Practice Guidelines for these new areas of practice. All members must go to the ACO website, www.collegeofoptometrists.ab.ca and review these documents. They are located under the Resources tab in the Standards of Practice link.
Now that the Optometrists Profession Regulation has been approved, the ACO will continue discussions with Alberta NetCare and Alberta Health Services to authorize optometric access to Alberta NetCare and the AHS lab testing portal. Until NetCare access is authorized and the lab testing portal is activated, we require that:
The new regulations do not allow optometrists to operate pharmaceutical dispensaries in their offices. In addition, as the vast majority of health care services are delivered in a team-based, collaborative model, optometrists must communicate with other health care practitioners to ensure appropriate and optimal patient care. This includes areas such as: diagnostic data, pharmaceutical prescriptions, treatment services, lab test results, ocular signs of systemic disease, etc.
Optometrists must always practice within their legislated scope as well as their individual level of competence and level of confidence. As always, please contact the college office if you have any questions or require any further clarification on any area of practice.
Alberta College of Optometrists
Telephone: 1-800-668-2694 or 780-466-5999