Cut through ‘information overload’: SHPA launches new EMIT resource, calls for meds info support

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has launched its long-awaited online medicines information training resource for 2020, while backing calls to strengthen Australia’s medicines information pharmacist workforce.

The latest addition to SHPA’s Online CPD, EMIT (Electronic Medicines Information Training) provides essential learning relevant for all pharmacists across 22 modules.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says sourcing and providing timely, accurate and relevant medicines information is an essential aspect of pharmacy practice.

‘Our long-awaited fully online EMIT resource provides up-to-date, curated education on seeking and providing medicines information pharmacists can trust.

‘Comprehensively reviewed and updated by expert Medicines Information Pharmacists, EMIT features a new module on Toxicology and all-new multiple choice questions, all clinically relevant to Australia.’

‘EMIT is suitable for any Australian pharmacist seeking to enhance their daily practice and impact on patient care, while also facilitating the accrual of up to a combined 44.5 CPD credits (including 41 Group 2 credits) across the 22 modules, which include Mental Health, Adverse Drug Reactions and Critical Evaluation.’

Ms Michaels says the release comes at a critical time for hospital pharmacy, with medicines safety announced as Australia’s 10th National Health Priority Area in October.

‘As outlined in her editorial in the December issue of NPS MedicineWise’s Australian Prescriber, Felicity Prior, SHPA Medicines Information Chair and member of the EMIT Editorial Committee, notes the launch of EMIT coincides with a concerning decline in expert medicines information services in Australia.

‘Doctors rely on medicines information services when prescribing complex medicines regimens for seriously unwell patients who face unique clinical challenges.

‘In recent years, these state-based services have closed in New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. In the absence of such specialised services, a quarter of hospital-based users say they would instead use the internet.

‘This is not good enough and presents a risk to patient safety.’

Ms Michaels says these risks are exacerbated by incomplete information in widely available resources, such as no data for off-label use, no information on prescribing for children, incomplete safety profiles for newer drugs due to limited premarketing clinical trials and out-of-date information for older drugs.

‘Alongside supporting strengthened medicines information pharmacy in Australia, SHPA has developed EMIT as a path for individual practitioners to improve essential smart search skills.’

‘EMIT also serves as critical introductory learning for pharmacists wishing to work in the medicine information specialty area and community pharmacists interested in moving into the hospital setting.

‘We look forward to partnering with universities and hospitals to ensure as many students, interns and early career pharmacists as possible have access to EMIT in 2020.’

Download the media release.