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Credit: My Health Record

Credit: My Health Record

Australia’s My Health Record to deliver national education and training package to hospital pharmacists

Technology should be embraced when it can influence positive practice change because sifting through growing volumes of medicines information while caring for some of the most unwell patients is a daily challenge in hospital pharmacy.

An announcement made by the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) highlighted on the national education and training package on My Health Record is being delivered to hospital pharmacists, informing them of the My Health Record expansion in 2018.

A flexible online and face-to-face national education and training package on My Health Record is being delivered by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) in partnership with the ADHA to hospital pharmacists.

The aim of the package is to inform hospital pharmacists working in public and private healthcare services about the expansion of My Health Record in 2018. They should revise services and care to integrate the My Health Record given this significant growth in the use of the digital health record by Australians.

SHPA Chief Executive Ms Kristin Michaels said that by empowering hospital pharmacists to maximise their uptake of My Health Record, the patients are also empowered.

She explained, “Having mutually intelligible information at the fingertips can put pharmacists and patients on the same page, demystifying some of the incredibly complex medicine-related decision-making of contemporary hospital pharmacy practice.”

She added, “At the same time, an increased understanding of more patient profiles via the national expansion of My Health Record will allow hospital pharmacists to tailor their clinical services appropriately to reduce preventable readmissions to hospital.”

Ms Leonie Abbott is from the SHPA’s Electronic Medicines Management (eMM) Leadership Committee. She has participated in the Project Working Group that contributed to the My Health Record Guidelines for Pharmacists aimed at community pharmacy. She emphasised that technology should be embraced when it can influence positive practice change.

She explained, “Sifting through growing volumes of medicines information while caring for some of the most unwell patients is a daily challenge in hospital pharmacy, especially in emergency settings and during crucial transitions of care from hospital to the community when medication errors are most likely to occur.”

Ms Abbott added, “Practitioners who work at the coalface will lead this education and engagement program giving it a running start in preparing hospital pharmacists to make the most of this important innovation, enabling them to be more efficient and effective pharmacists who can provide greater patient care.”

ADHA CEO Mr Tim Kelsey shared that partnering with the SHPA is an important step toward integrating the My Health Record system into standard hospital pharmacist practice.

He explained, “Hospital pharmacy practice is markedly different to community pharmacy practice, and is particularly important in ensuring consistency in medicines management and effective transition of care from the hospital to the home.”

Mr Kelsey added, “The expansion of My Health Record nationally to everyone unless they choose not to have one, will deliver a system that provides universal functionality, clear and concise content and, critically, a safe and secure clinical health service for all Australians.”

The ADHA is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy.

The SHPA is the national, professional, for-purpose organisation for leading pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working across Australia’s health system, advocating for their pivotal role in improving the safety and quality of medicines use.

A previous announcement by the Australian Digital Health Agency was released highlighting how Australians living in WA, NSW, and Queensland will be granted access to diagnostic imaging reports. The report also discussed how the My Health Record system also caters to the complex needs of palliative care patients.

Recently, the Australian Digital Health Agency also released a 3-month opt out period for My Health Record that will run from 16 July to 15 October 2018. Since every Australian will be offered a My Health Record, they can choose not to have one during the said period.

Another announcement was also released earlier, this time about the framework for My Health Record in order to deliver better outcomes for patients. The Framework defines how data on the My Health Record system can be used for research and public health purposes while preserving privacy and security of data in the system.

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