A new study in the Medical Journal of Australia doesn’t reflect on us all that well.
How’s this for a statistic?
“…..of patients admitted to hospital with broken bones following a fall, 85.4% were 65 years or older and had been prescribed a falls-risk medicine”.
Does this mean that at some stage, 85 out of 100 of our older patients were not warned about the increased risk of a fall?
Don’t we tell the Australian community that we “care” about their health and welfare?
Understandably, the medico’s aren’t too pleased at these findings, but the statistics are damming.
Here’s another “……..more that one in 10 admissions for gastrointestinal bleeding or ulcer were associated with long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs, while a similar proportion of patients with renal failure had a history of diabetes, but had not been tested or dispensed certain drugs in the 12 months before admission.”
Does our striving for “cheapest” and “fastest” actually compromise our quality of care?
Are we so procedure-driven to tick the boxes, and not disturb the status quo in the healthcare pecking order, that we are missing the main driver of why we became a health professional?
I’m reminded of some face-to-face interviews I conducted with patients with diabetes. I asked a question “what involvement does your pharmacist have in your diabetes?”
The response by the ten interviewees was disappointing.
That’s “no involvement”……..
Let’s address this patient perception before it’s too late and we are made redundant in our patient care role.
Other health professionals, like practice-care nurses, working directly in the employ of the medical practitioner who gets paid for this care, are ready, willing, able and poised to replace us.
Our communication skills, our intervention skills, our confidence in our own ability and more importantly, our perceptions of what our patients actually want, must change.
Who’s going to lead?