EMPHN funds pharmacists based in GP clinics to support better medications management
21 November, 2018
An initiative funded by Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) aims to support older people to manage their medications safely.
As people age and develop chronic health conditions, they are likely to use more medicines. However, using a greater number of medicines can lead to medication-related harm. People taking more than five medications are at greater risk of an adverse effect.
To reduce this risk and help older people use medicines well, EMPHN is funding Blackburn Clinic and Nillumbik Medical to each employ a clinical pharmacist in their practice.
Michael Sukkar MP, the Federal Member for Deakin, said having pharmacists based in clinics will help provide expert medicines advice and support.
“These pharmacists will provide quality medication management, including reviewing the number of medicines older people are taking and reducing possible side effects he said.
“This initiative will particularly help those with multiple prescriptions, such as the elderly and those with chronic illness.”
EMPHN CEO Robin Whyte said that that a team based care approach in general practice brings benefits to patients especially those with chronic conditions.
“Having a pharmacist working closely with the rest of the team at these practices will improve the way patient medications are managed by the nurses, doctors and the patient,” she said.
Blackburn Clinic Practice Manager Helen Yaacoub said, “Our GPs love having an expert to collaborate with regarding challenging situations where medications interact, cause side-effects, or don’t produce the desired results; and our patients love the one-to-one sessions with the pharmacist.”
Nillumbik Clinic Clinical Care Manager Felicity Emery said, “Our onsite pharmacist, Kamran, presents a familiar face when providing readily accessible knowledge into medication awareness and support for our patients. Kamran is also a valuable training resource for our nurses and doctors.”
The project aims to improve medication management in patients attending general practice, provide support to GPs and practice nurses in managing patients with complex medication plans, and increase the review of medications and patient support activities.
This initiative is funded by the Australian Government under the PHN program.
BLACKBURN CLINIC is raising money for CEREBRAL PALSY. Many of our doctors, nurses, administration and reception staff are attempting to walk 10,000 STEPS every day for the month of September. We have 35 staff members participating within 12 teams.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. It is a permanent life-long condition, but generally does not worsen over time. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy affects people in different ways and can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. Did you know, Cerebral Palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood?
Support this worthwhile cause by donating at www.steptember.com.au
Click on DONATE and search for BLACKBURN CLINIC. Donate to anyone on our list—we don’t mind who!
Blackburn Clinic has been granted funding to engage a Clinical Pharmacist to provide a range of medication support services for eligible patients. The project will run for 9 months and aims to improve management of medications for older patients, particularly for those with multiple chronic conditions, taking multiple medications, or taking medications that are difficult to manage or have side-effect problems. There will be no cost to our patients for services provided through this project.
The Pharmacist will work from the consulting rooms at Blackburn Clinic, making it easy to liaise with our GPs about patient care. The Pharmacist will not dispense (sell or provide) medications, but will perform a range of activities including consultations with patients to:
a) review medication adherence and identify ways to help patients integrate their medicine-taking into their lifestyle.
b) review medications to identify and resolve Medication Related Problems (examples of Medication Related Problems include adverse reactions, over-dosage or under-dosage, interactions with other medications or other medical conditions, and difficulties in taking medications).
c) improve patient understanding of both their disease/conditions and how their medications work.
The Pharmacist will work closely with our doctors to improve the management of individual patients and through education of the general practice team, aim to improve quality prescribing.
Where appropriate and with your GP’s approval, the Pharmacist may recommend a Home Medicines Review in order to better clarify your needs, alternative or natural medicines being taken. There is no cost to the patient for a Home Medicines Review.
A coordinated approach between the pharmacist and GP can help streamline medication regimens, move patients to safer medications or safer dosages, ensure patients take their medications in the best possible manner and ultimately result in fewer Medication Related Problems.
The practice pharmacist can also be a link to existing community pharmacy services, and liaise with other care providers where appropriate.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has backed the concept of in-practice pharmacists “as a means of improving medications management in primary care and avoiding adverse medication events leading to hospitalisation” 1 .
If you are 65 years of age or older and take six or more medications (including over the counter medications), or have had a recent stay in hospital, you may benefit from this program. Please ask your GP whether it is suitable for you.
This program is funded by Eastern Melbourne PHN as part of the Australian Government’s PHN Program.
1. Lambert J. Do in-practice pharmacists really make a difference? The Medical Republic, 31 May 2018.
Dr Rob Dunn is cycling 100 km on 7th October 2018 to raise money for cleft repair operations for children in Bangladesh.
More than 5,000 children are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate in Bangladesh each year. Cleft repair surgery is not covered under the Bangladesh health care system, and the cost of surgery out of reach of most Bangladeshi families.
Operation Cleft is a unique Rotary project that provides free cleft repair surgery to underprivileged children in Bangladesh. Operation Cleft began in 2005 as a project of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central and is still supported by them.
Unfortunately, these children are shunned by society, discouraged to attend school and generally excluded because of the way they look. Children with cleft problems have difficulty feeding as babies and difficulty eating when older, risking malnutrition. They are susceptible to ear, nose and throat infections. Without treatment children develop nasal speech patterns that are difficult to change, so treatment is best done while children are young.
Operation Cleft Australia Foundation depends entirely on community donations to achieve 1,000 operations each year. Operation Cleft also speech therapy programs following cleft repair surgery.
Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible in Australia. To sponsor Dr Dunn’s cycling challenge online go to www.operationcleft.org.au. Donation tins are also available at Blackburn Clinic reception.
The MHR is a digital summary of a patient’s medical record that can be shared securely online between the patient and the healthcare providers that they visit. It includes a list of the patient’s medications, their medical diagnoses, allergies, organ donor status and their vaccinations. It will soon contain pathology and radiology results as well.
Australians have a three-month window from 16 July to 15 October 2018 during which to opt-out if they do not want a MHR to be created. For those who do not opt-out, a MHR will be available from 15 November 2018. The MHR will not contain any content until either the patient logs in or a healthcare provider accesses the record. Upon access, two years of Medicare and PBS (prescription) records will automatically be added to the record.
The MHR allows GPs, hospital staff and other health professionals to access the record of patients who present, which may help avoid medication mix ups, improve patient outcomes, avoid duplication of services, and ultimately improve patient outcomes. The MHR may enable patients better self-management through access to key health information to support improved decision making and continuity of care.
Patients can add information to their record themselves and can stipulate that certain clinical documents are not uploaded to their MHR.
What do you need to do?
If you are happy to have a MHR automatically created by the Government, you don’t need to do anything. Likewise, if you have already created a MHR, this will continue without you doing anything.
If you do not want the Government to create a MHR on your behalf, you need to opt-out between 16 July and 15 October 2018, by telephoning 1800 723 471 or visiting the MHR website at https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au