Dr Erica Tong receives 2020 Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award

Dr Erica Tong was announced today as the 2020 recipient of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA)’s Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award, recognising her professional leadership, broad research impact and Australia-first innovations, including the development and implementation of partnered pharmacist charting.

Dr Tong, who is Deputy Director of Pharmacy, Chief Pharmacy Information Officer and Lead Clinical Pharmacist, Emergency and Acute Medicine at Alfred Health, and teaches in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University, was also commended for her academic exploration of advanced practice roles for pharmacists in General Medicine and initiatives to broaden service provision.

SHPA President Peter Fowler congratulated Dr Tong for her visionary leadership of Partnered Pharmacist Medication Charting (PPMC) in Victoria, which sees medical officers and hospital pharmacists collaborate to reduce duplication of effort, and consequently reduce medication errors.

‘In a landmark 2019 study, which Erica led, the PPMC model was associated with a reduction in the proportion of patients with at least one medication error – from 66% to 3.6% – and reduced median length of inpatient hospital stay from 4.7 to 4.2 days.

‘Today, the care model has been funded by the Victorian Department of Health for expansion to 24 rural and regional hospitals, showing the real impact of Erica’s innovation on outcomes for patients across the state.’

‘This award also recognises Erica’s dedication to supporting the next generation of hospital pharmacists, through her role as SHPA General Medicine Chair, developing the recently-published General Medicine Standard of Practice and developing the General Medicine Advanced Training Residency.’

In his commendation Professor Michael Dooley, Director of Pharmacy at Alfred Health, noted Dr Tong’s impact in clinical pharmacy has been substantial through a host of initiatives she has led.  

‘Erica has been integral to the continued maturation of clinical pharmacy program across Alfred Health and instrumental in progressing adoption and translation more widely including through her PhD research.

‘Her commitment to clinical practice is further highlighted by the fact she completed her PhD on exploring advanced practice roles for pharmacists in general medicine while fulfilling her leadership role, responsible for clinical services to the General Medicine Unit.

‘Since her appointment to the position of Chief Pharmacy Information Officer in 2016, Erica has built on the advanced practice roles of pharmacists and integrated an electronic medical record into workflows, facilitating and strengthening the impact of the clinical pharmacists.

Associate Professor Kirstie Galbraith, Director, Experiential Development and Graduate Education (EDGE) at Monash University commended Dr Tong’s commitment to research-driven teaching and mentoring.

‘After an exemplary early academic career, Erica was one of the first senior pharmacists to take on the teaching and mentoring role of Alfred Pharmacy Fellows as the Alfred Health General Medicine Fellow Preceptor, and she remains closely involved in the research component of the Master of Clinical Pharmacy.

‘She continues to publish extensively, nationally and internationally, ensuring her active engagement in interdisciplinary hospital research, as well as research evaluating advanced generalist pharmacist roles in the acute and ambulatory setting, demonstrates positive impact that will inform better patient care.’

Dr Tong will formally accept the 2020 Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award and deliver her oration to open Session 3 on Day 2 of the 2020 SHPA Virtual Congress on Sunday 22 November.