More than conversations: Pharmacists get to the heart of patient-centred care

Pharmacists and their multidisciplinary colleagues explore the contemporary meaning of patient-centred care in relation to digital health records, end-of-life care and mental health peer work among the contrasting perspectives in the latest issue of Pharmacy Growth, Research, Innovation and Training (GRIT).

The Spring issue of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA)’s member-only magazine sees contributors from across the country dig beneath the buzzwords to unearth how truly patient-centred care is shaping patient outcomes, professional practice and Australia’s healthcare system.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says while the concept itself can be hard to pin down, patient-centred care is regarded as a hallmark of progressive and human health systems.

‘With the notion of patient-centred or led care significantly shaping the new edition of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, which come into effect from 2019, it’s imperative that healthcare professionals question how this ideal manifests in their practice.’

Kicking off the conversation, James Grant, Chair of SHPA’s Electronic Medicines Management Leadership Committee gives his take on whether moving to an ‘opt-out’ My Health Record is a leap toward patient-centred care, or a step into a digital minefield.

‘Your average patient is not health trained or exceedingly health literate, and a complete and accurate medical history is the cornerstone of appropriately treating and supporting patients through illness and maintaining good health,’ says James.

In an eye-opening feature authored by Joanne Davis, End of Life Clinical Nurse Consultant and Kerry Watts, Clinical Pharmacy and GRIT Editorial Board Chair we learn how Advance Care Directives are giving individuals, families and healthcare professionals an opportunity to ensure patients come first as they approach end-of-life.

Taking us on a personal journey from patient to peer-worker, we hear how Melissa Asta – one of the first generation of professionals qualified with a Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work – is bridging the divide between clients and clinicians in achieving patient-led recovery.

‘When you say, “I’m the peer worker” and explain that I have my own experience of mental illness – that I was a client at this very facility, in fact – nine times out of ten, the person’s demeanour totally changes. “You’re one of us,” they say.’

From culturally-appropriate care, to the role of research, and the evolution of innovative pharmacy assistant roles, patient-centred care is interrogated from all angles in the latest Pharmacy GRIT - available free to all SHPA members.

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