Pharmacists leading the way with My Health Record

Community, hospital, and academic pharmacists have formed a Pharmacists Digital Health Leaders Network to encourage meaningful and clinical use of My Health Record by pharmacists and pharmacies.

The forty network members will support local pharmacists in their area to engage with and use My Health Records through digital health workshops and education events.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said that the PSA, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild), and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) handpicked the network members as positive agents of change.

Adam Phillips (SA), Joanne Wilson (ACT), and Nader Mitri (Vic) Adam Phillips (SA), Joanne Wilson (ACT), and Nader Mitri (Vic)

“The nominated pharmacists are thought leaders and subject matter experts who will bring their skills, knowledge, and experience gained from working in pharmacy and the wider healthcare industry to the Pharmacists Digital Health Leaders Network.

“They will advise on the meaningful use of the My Health Record by providing guidance to pharmacists about how to and when to use the My Health Record System,” Dr Jackson said.

Pharmacy Guild National President George Tambassis said My Health Record has arrived in the Australian health care system, and it is not only desirable but also essential that community pharmacies are involved.

“As the most accessible health professionals, particularly in rural and regional areas, it is vital that community pharmacists embrace My Health Record in the interests of their patients and collaborative quality health care,” Mr Tambassis said.

SHPA CEO Kristin Michaels said the national expansion of My Health Record in 2018 will bring exciting opportunities to improve transitions of care arrangements and pharmacy practice development.

“Hospital pharmacists are increasingly completing the medication summary sections of patient’s discharge summaries, providing a full, updated list of patient’s medicines, as well as the clinical rationale for the initiation, cessation or dose adjustment of medicines.

“The expansion of My Health Record in pharmacy practice will empower patients’ agency in their own health care. The new data streams will also enable innovative hospital pharmacists to better understand the patients they provide care for, and to tailor their clinical services appropriately to reduce preventable readmissions to hospital.”

Rob Farrier (SA), Sheryn Phillips (NSW), and Peter Roberts (NSW) Rob Farrier (SA), Sheryn Phillips (NSW), and Peter Roberts (NSW)

Dr Steve Hambleton, Deputy Chair of the Australian Digital Health Agency’s My Health Record Expansion Programme, said that the Agency and the pharmacy sector recognises the important role that pharmacists have in contributing current and accurate medicines information to people’s My Heath Record.

“My Heath Record can empower pharmacists to deliver safer and more efficient care by providing real-time access to usable, useful, and reliable medicine and broader health information. This in turn will help them support safer use of those medicines so their patents can achieve better health outcomes,” Dr Hambleton said.

Agency CEO Tim Kelsey agreed and said the network is an important link between the Agency and the pharmacy profession.

“The Pharmacists Digital Health Leaders Network will provide the expertise and leadership needed to achieve widespread adoption of the My Health Record System in pharmacy and increase awareness in the wider community,” Mr Kelsey said.

The network members met recently in Sydney where they discussed My Heath Record registration and training options, providing expert advice to their nominating organisations, and supporting Primary Health Network information sessions.

Chris Braithwaite is a pharmacist at the Galambila Aboriginal Health Service in NSW. He said that Indigenous people are often on the move so My Health Record is incredibly useful.

“My Health Record is a powerful tool for Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our pharmacists care,” Mr Braithwaite said.

Sam Bowen is a consultant pharmacist at Winmalee in the Blue Mountains NSW and highlighted the benefit of increased patient information in the My Health Record.

“One of the biggest problems for community pharmacy is the lack of information. With My Health Record, we have access to more information. My Health Record is the missing link,” Ms Bowen said.

ENDS

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About the Australian Digital Health Agency

The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the National Digital Health Strategy. The Agency was established on 1 July 2016 by the Australian Government as a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity, and reports to all Australian governments through the COAG Health Council.
www.digitalhealth.gov.au