Future pharmacy: from shop front to patient
Extending the role of pharmacists in community health care beyond the shop front and into the delivery of primary healthcare services opens up potential benefits for consumers, particularly the old and those with chronic illness, the Consumers Health Forums says.
“We welcome the announcement today by Health Minister, Sussan Ley, of Tranche 2 of the Pharmacy Trial Program aimed at placing the consumer at the centre of care,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.
“This latest round of trials cover important areas such as medication management for people with complex conditions, new ways of pharmacy working with residential aged care facilities, services for consumers who are transitioning between services in order that they avoid medicines misadventures and services to encourage people to reduce their lifestyle risk factors.
“These services are all examples of where we want to see capacity built in our health system. Consumers want a system that delivers access, quality and innovation in preventative and primary health care, reducing the need for hospital admissions. This is best for the patient and best for the system”.
“The aim of these trials is to enhance consumer care by supporting collaboration between pharmacists and GPs. It means for instance, a pharmacist spending time with patients at the GP’s surgery to advise them on their medication, particularly when they are taking several different medicines that may increase risk of side effects.
“This offers ways for improving medication management, reducing the risk of medicine mistakes which result in numerous avoidable hospitalisations.
“The trials will test community pharmacist outreach services and the sort of integrated care focused on consumer needs that should be increased by the new Primary Health Networks.
“CHF supports the Minister’s commitment to collaboration in health care to foster better clinical outcomes. Given there is $600 million earmarked for development of pharmacy services in the community, there is scope for much more consumer-centred care,” Ms Wells said.