Technicians stepping up and pandemic preparedness lead latest JPPR

Trialling technician-ready tasks to enable expanded roles for pharmacists as well as one hospital’s pandemic planning as a template for others spearhead the latest issue of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA)’s flagship journal, released this week.

The October 2021 issue of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research (JPPR), available through Wiley publishing and free to SHPA members, includes a special report on the inaugural Pharmacy Forecast Australia, supported by editorials from the Consumer Health Forum of Australia (CHF) and the Council of Pharmacy Schools.

The Victorian study ‘Evaluation of a novel advanced pharmacy technician role: Discharge Medication Education Technician’ co-led by Brett Anderson, a member of SHPA’s Technicians and Assistants Leadership Committee, found postoperative discharge medication education could be successfully taken on by leading pharmacy technicians, enabling their pharmacist peers to complete other tasks as part of multidisciplinary medical teams.

‘This novel workforce model could facilitate pharmacists working in advanced‐scope roles by having advanced hospital pharmacy technicians (HPTs) undertake uncomplicated aspects of clinical pharmacy within a defined scope of practice and with specific pharmacist referral criteria,’ the authors write.

In ‘An Australian hospital pharmacy department’s pandemic response plan to coronavirus disease of 2019’, authors Kate Ziser et. al. write how the formation of a team hospital pharmacy department COVID‐19 Pandemic Response Plan at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney­­ provided ‘assurance that a complete pharmacy service could continue in the event of reduced staffing’.

‘Intense, thoughtful, collaborative work was required in a short period of time to design an appropriate physical environment, create a remote working model of care, and to train and educate members of staff,’ they write.

The paper provides key recommendations for other sites wanting to implement a remote model of care, including around communication, adequate skill mix, upskilling, education, training, staff resilience, role expansion and administration.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the issue of the Society’s journal exemplifies the diversity of the profession at a critical juncture in its maturation.

‘Inspired by the incredible efforts of hospital pharmacy through the COVID-19 pandemic, SHPA is proud to support JPPR as the profession’s journal, which uniquely features the research of specialised pharmacists and technicians, embedded in multidisciplinary medical teams at the leading edge of practice.’

Download the media release.