Cooperation and communication at the heart of latest JPPR

The benefits of greater interpersonal cooperation between health practitioners and the role of pharmacy intervention on improved patient outcomes come into focus in the August edition of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research (JPPR), which is now available online, free to Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) members.

In the latest instalment of the flagship journal, Editor-in-Chief Dr Chris Alderman says effective communication is vital in all areas of life, but none more so than when transferring intricate clinical information from one setting to another, or from one health discipline to another.

‘This relates, in part, to the complexity and multiplicity of the information elements that need to be accurately conveyed, or because of the sophisticated terminology that may be needed or because the stakes are so high: if the information is not transferred accurately, someone could be seriously hurt, or even worse.’

The clinical implications of patient communication are also brought to the fore in a newly published study on Medication use to manage comorbidities for people with dementia by authors from the University of Western Australia Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, which found the extent of chronic conditions experienced by people with dementia may be underestimated due to challenges identifying other conditions when they cannot reliably report signs and symptoms.

‘Evidence on medication use for comorbidities in people with dementia is currently limited to drug utilisation patterns and treatment of one comorbidity: osteoporosis…people with dementia appear to be managed pharmacologically until the late stages of disease without considering time to benefit or that it is a life-limiting condition,’ says lead author and JPPR Assistant Editor Amy Page.  

Echoing these sentiments in a powerful editorial focusing on the personal effects of prescribing and dispensing errors, Dr Mark Naunton, Head of Pharmacy at the University of Canberra Faculty of Health calls for pharmacists to utilise their communications skills to influence prescribing.

‘Evidence from pharmacy practice settings demonstrates that when pharmacists make suggestions to doctors for important changes in patients’ drug treatment, recommendations made by pharmacists are often accepted and implemented.'

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