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.