Pharmacists support eHealth boost for patient care
4 March 2016
The Federal Government’s move to encourage more Australians to use eHealth records to improve coordinated healthcare has been welcomed by the peak organisation for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley today launched a new program for electronic health records to be trialed by more than one million Australians. Under the trial, patients can share health information securely online with authorised healthcare providers, including pharmacists.
PSA National President Joe Demarte said more patients needed to embrace electronic health and innovation to ensure health professionals can deliver better integrated care.
“As the most accessible of health professionals, pharmacists are an important resource that can and should be used to inform consumers about eHealth records with a view to ensuring this important health resource is fully utilised,” Mr Demarte said.
“We encourage more people to access eHealth to ensure consistency of treatment and better health outcomes for consumers regardless of where they seek treatment in Australia.”
In its recent pre-Budget 2016-17 submission, the PSA recommended that the Government urgently considers a national real-time recording and reporting system to reduce harms associated with poor coordination of care and inappropriate prescribing of medicines.
“The PSA believes this should be a high priority for the Government to implement a real-time recording and reporting system that captures all prescribing, dispensing and supply of prescription and over-the-counter drugs of dependence,” Mr Demarte said.
“We urge the Government to allocate funds to assist States and Territories to fully-implement a national real-time recording and reporting system as a matter of urgency.”
To read the PSA’s 2016-17 pre-Budget submission: The role of pharmacists in Australian Health Reform – Improving health outcomes through cost-effective primary care, visit www.psa.org.au/submissions/psa-pre-budget-submission-2016-17.
First pharmacist appointed to medical advisory committee
March 4, 2016
The historic appointment of leading community pharmacist Dr Claire O’Reilly to the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) has been welcomed by the peak body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
Dr O’Reilly, a former PSA National Vice President, is the first pharmacist to be appointed to the MSAC, which advises the Federal Government on evidence for the safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medical technologies and procedures.
Under the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA), the MSAC will also provide advice to the Government on the cost-effectiveness of new and continuing community pharmacy programs.
Dr O’Reilly, a Sydney-based community pharmacist and lecturer at the University of Sydney’s Pharmacy Faculty, said she was delighted to be appointed by the Federal Health Minister to represent pharmacy and provide a pharmacists’ perspective to the Committee.
“I look forward to working with the MSAC and Government to independently assess the evidence, and to progress the role of community pharmacists,” Dr O’Reilly said.
PSA National President Joe Demarte congratulated Dr O’Reilly on her historic appointment, saying it was a testament to her hard work in community pharmacy over recent years.
“Dr O’Reilly is well-known and respected among Australia’s pharmacist community, especially from her tireless work in addressing health professionals’ stigma to mental illness and in developing the role of the pharmacist as part of a multidisciplinary mental health care team,” Mr Demarte said.
As part of her new role, Dr O’Reilly has also been appointed to the Trials Advisory Group (TAG) – an independent, expert advisory committee to advise to the Government on the development and implementation of trials under the Pharmacy Trials Programme.
“The PSA looks forward to working on the development and implementation of evidence-based services which improve the health outcomes of the community,” Mr Demarte said.
Public health boost from pharmacist-delivered vaccinations
March 3, 2016
A decision to allow trained pharmacists to administer influenza vaccinations in Canberra has been applauded as an important community health outcome by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), Australia’s peak body for pharmacists.
Under new changes to ACT health regulations announced today, trained pharmacists will now be able to administer flu vaccines at community pharmacy sites across Canberra.
PSA ACT Branch President Pat Reid said: “The PSA welcomes the ACT Government’s decision to enable pharmacist-delivered vaccinations. This positive health outcome has occurred thanks to the support of the Health Protection Service working with the PSA and Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
“Pharmacist-delivered vaccination is a positive development for health delivery and will help to vaccinate cohorts of the community who previously would not have been vaccinated.”
Pharmacists looking to administer vaccinations must undergo accredited training to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to deliver the vaccine and identify and treat possible side-effects.
PSA vaccination training courses have already been held across the ACT, with almost 50 pharmacists undergoing training. The PSA’s vaccination training program comprises two parts: online pre-reading and face-to-face workshops.
Today’s announcement sees the ACT join NSW, SA, WA, NT and Tasmania where trained pharmacists are able to vaccinate at approved locations. In Queensland, trained pharmacists can vaccinate under the Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP) however Victoria is awaiting Government approval for pharmacist vaccinations.
PSA National President Joe Demarte said pharmacists play an important role in promoting immunisation and reducing the impact of vaccine-preventable disease in the community.
“In the lead-up to the flu season, we are expecting many more pharmacists to register for immunisation training this year, which is an important professional development tool,” Mr Demarte said.
“The PSA supports immunisation as both a public health program and as a means of managing an individual’s health.”