Tightening transitions: Hospital pharmacists raising the standard

Ensuring hospital pharmacists are at the centre of multi-disciplinary efforts to reduce the fragmentation of Australia’s healthcare system is discussed from a range of angles in the latest issue of the Society of Hospitals Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA)’s member magazine, released this week.

The latest issue of Pharmacy Growth, Research, Innovation and Training (Pharmacy GRIT) explores many facets of transitions of care, hitting mailboxes around the country one week before the 2019 Medicines Leadership Forum in Canberra will focus on the increasingly important topic.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the issue demonstrates the vital role hospital pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play in managing positive transitions of care, particularly around discharge from hospital.

‘From the hourly sun to changing weather and the turning of the seasons, transitions define our physical environment; professionally, in health care, transition is also all around us.

‘Transitions within care and transitions of care are critical times. Hospital pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are crucial to safeguarding patient safety as people are admitted to acute care, move between care settings, are discharged from hospital to home or residential care, or any other significant disruption to their healthcare routine.’

In the Winter 2019 issue, SHPA members Rachael Cheh and Sally Marotti propose the entire medicines management pathway – from admission to, and discharge from hospital – needs to be scrutinised if we are to ensure safer transitions for hospital patients.

The issue also explores how an innovative outpatient antenatal pharmacist advice clinic can support the transition into motherhood, as well as the advent of immunotherapies, which harness and manipulate the body’s immune cells to target cancer cells, representing an enormous transition toward less harmful treatments.

Ms Michaels says the issue paints a vivid picture of how hospital pharmacists help ensure positive outcomes after people leave hospital.

‘We know hospital discharge is fraught with risk. Through our members’ stories we appreciate that direct and considered hospital pharmacist intervention can cut through the myriad of instructions, requests, forms and the physical reality of leaving acute care.’

The Winter 2019 issue of Pharmacy GRIT is available free – as always – to SHPA members.

Download the media release.