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Credit: Australian Digital Health Agency

Credit: Australian Digital Health Agency

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia launches new guidelines for My Health Record system

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has announced the launch of new guidelines for pharmacists to promote meaningful clinical use of the My Health Record system to enhance patient-centred care.

My Health Record is a digital system that enables healthcare providers to share secure health data and improve the safety and quality of patient care. The system enables important health information including allergies, medical conditions, treatments, medicines, and scan reports to be accessed through one system.

The benefits of using the My Health Record system include reduced hospital admissions, reduced duplication of tests, better coordination of care for people with chronic and complex conditions, and better and more informed treatment decisions.

The new guidelines will help increase the number of pharmacists using My Health Record, offer professional guidelines for pharmacy practice as well as implementation tools for digital health.

Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said the guidelines were an essential support for pharmacists in the transition to embedding My Health Record as a normal part of daily pharmacy practice.

“The ability for pharmacists to contribute patient health information to My Health Record is an integral part of the My Health Record system. In My Health Record, pharmacists have a platform to enhance the provision of patient-centred care though access to key patient health information and by contributing valuable information related to care they have provided,” said Mr Kelsey.

PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson, who is the Chair of the Project Advisory Group, also said that having access to information will allow pharmacists to deliver more effective and efficient care.

Dr Jackson said that the guidelines will further enable the digital capability of pharmacists is a game changer for pharmacists’ contribution to enhancing medication safety and ensuring quality use of medicines.

“Pharmacists have a professional responsibility to review their practice and where necessary, build on their digital health competency, to integrate use of the My Health Record system into patient care.

PSA is the Government-recognised peak national professional pharmacy organisation representing Australia’s 30,000 pharmacists working in all sectors and across all locations. The objective of the organisation is to improve the health of Australians through excellence in pharmacist care. The organisation provides continuing education and professional development as well as practice support.

Chair of the Project Working Group Queensland pharmacist Mr Chris Campbell said the ease of access to information by using My Health Record was going to make the biggest difference for pharmacists to providing care. The My Health Record integration helps to make key clinical decisions possible.

“Until now, pharmacists have been dispensing, counselling, providing advice, and conducting medication reconciliation partially blindfolded,” Mr Campbell said.

As reported earlier, there are more pathology labs and pharmacies in Australia connecting to My Health Record. Late last year, Primary Health Care, Australian Clinical Labs, and 7 other software vendors and labs signed agreements with the Australian Digital Health Agency. Chemist Warehouse and Corum have also announced their upcoming connection to My Health Record system in 2018. 

These initiatives are in support of Australian Government’s national rollout of opt-out model of My Health Record. All Australians will be provided with a My Health Record by the end of 2018, unless they choose not to have one.

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