By: Maureen Hussey, RO, RCLP, Execuitve Director / Registrar

This article appeared in issue 107 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

We have all had the patient who has asked us to do something inappropriate. We know that common practice among most of our members is to refuse to be involved in indiscretions.

We know that all of our members know that it is wrong to back date a receipt or make it look like the daughter of the patient got the glasses and not their neighbour. We know it is wrong to say something was prescription and not plano sunglass. We know that it is wrong to bill the insurance company more than the glasses cost and put the balance on account for next time.

What if we did it anyways? What if we justified with “plano is a prescription” or “big insurance companies won’t miss the few dollars involved” or “it’s their money, they deserve it”.

What if…

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By: Julie Therou Zechel, RO, RCLP Regulatory Standards Director

This article appeared in issue 106 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

After submitting your 2018 renewal online, you were invited to participate in an online survey of our members. This survey was developed to garner feedback about your interactions with us, your experiences with our online platforms, and some of the programs and services we provide. We will be using the results from approximately 350 responses we received to refine our communication style, update our online platforms to be more useful, and to provide feedback to your council about the programs and services that you have indicated should be a priority.

Throughout 2018, we will share the results of this survey, but for now, we wanted to take this opportunity to address some of comments that stuck out to us as we reviewed your responses.

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By: Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 105 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

A practice resource including all four (4) parts of this article series is available on our website under Practice Resources. An optional quiz, worth 2EC credits is available following the practice resource.

In the winter, spring and summer 2017 newsletters I covered information pertaining to a question received at the office that involved a patient file and a possible privacy breach.  In order to improve my own understanding of privacy regulation, I decided to do a little research, and share this information with all members through a series of articles. This is the fourth and final one of the series.

As regulated healthcare practitioners in Alberta, opticians are bound by the statutes, regulations and standards of practice in place.  The ACAO puts together information like this article, the Code of Conduct sessions, and programs like Practice Review to help our members learn about issues like privacy so that they understand and are prepared for the safe provision of health services to the public.

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The following statistics resulted from a survey of our members in 2017. The survey was open to all registered members of the ACAO and had a total of 231 respondents.

Average annual salary (all respondents): approx. $60,000 – $70,000

pie chart showing percentages of each reported salary

121 members reported, September 1, 2017
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By: Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 104 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

A practice resource including all four (4) parts of this article series is available on our website under Practice Resources. An optional quiz, worth 2EC credits is available following the practice resource.

In the winter and spring 2017 newsletters, I wrote the first two parts of an article on privacy.  This was in response to a question received at the office that involved a patient file and a possible privacy breach.  Privacy regulation is an area that is fairly new to most of us, and somewhat intimidating.  Opticians don’t want to jeopardize an individual’s right to privacy, and we also need to be able to do our jobs as health care providers.  In order to improve my own understanding, I decided to do a little research, and share this information with all members through this series of articles.

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By: Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 103 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

You asked, and we answered! For the first time in years, the ACAO finally hosted an event specifically for contact lenses. On February 25th and 26th of 2017, members joined us for the Contact Lens Symposium at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Centre in Calgary. This event featured two full days of contact lens content, and included seminars, product information sessions, and two hands-on learning stations.

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By: Julie Therou, RO, RCLP & Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 103 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

We are probably all in agreement that staying relevant and up to date in our profession is important, but because continuing education is a mandated requirement, there seems to be a natural tendency to fight it to a certain degree. Every three years, as the continuing education cycle comes to an end on June 30th, we get lots of calls in the office asking questions about con-ed, how members can get credits, why credits are needed at all and, of course, why some con-ed opportunities cost so much while others are free. We are happy to field individual questions as they come, but thought we would take this opportunity to address some of the most asked questions and hopefully help our members look at con- ed as an opportunity rather than a requirement.

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By: Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 103 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

A practice resource including all four (4) parts of this article series is available on our website under Practice Resources. An optional quiz, worth 2EC credits is available following the practice resource.

In issue 102 (winter 2017) of the Eighth Line, I wrote part one of a piece on privacy.  This was in response to a question received at the office that involved a patient file and a possible privacy breach.  Privacy regulation is an area that is fairly new to most of us, and somewhat intimidating.  Opticians don’t want to jeopardize an individual’s right to privacy, and we also need to be able to do our jobs as health care providers.  In order to improve my own understanding, I decided to do a little research, and share this information with all members through this series of articles.

As regulated healthcare practitioners in Alberta, opticians are bound by the statutes, regulations and standards of practice in place.  The ACAO puts together information such as this article, sessions like the Code of Conduct and programs like Practice Review to help our members learn about issues like privacy so that they understand and are prepared for the provision of health services to the public.

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By: Padmaja Genesh, BSc, MBBS, BA (Gerontology)

This article appeared in issue 102 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

Have you been encountering an increasing number of clients exhibiting symptoms of dementia, such as forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty to understand and follow instructions, and so on? Additionally, did you know that dementia could present with visual symptoms?

If you have not yet seen an increase in the number of clients exhibiting forgetfulness, communication challenges etc. it is very likely to happen in the coming days.

Dementia could also present with visual symptoms that may be difficult to comprehend.

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By: Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 102 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

A practice resource including all four (4) parts of this article series is available on our website under Practice Resources. An optional quiz, worth 2EC credits is available following the practice resource.

In August, I took a call at the College office from a fellow optician asking me how she would be required to handle a situation in her office that involved a patient file and a possible privacy breach. The story is interesting and worth sharing with all of our members, but before we explain this particular situation in detail, I feel it would be worthwhile to revisit privacy regulations in general.

After visiting our members during practice reviews, it became clear that  a solid understanding of privacy regulations seems to be an area that most opticians are lacking in, and honestly this applies to me too.  In order to improve my own understanding, I have done some research and plan to address privacy regulations over the course of the next three newsletters to try and unravel at least some of their mystery.

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