‘We’re all geriatric medicine pharmacists now’: Dr Rohan Elliott receives 2018 SHPA Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award

Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) Fellow, Dr Rohan Elliott, has been honoured for his contribution to geriatric medicine, receiving the prestigious SHPA Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award.

In announcing the award on the closing day of Medicines Management 2018 the 44th SHPA National Conference in Brisbane on Sunday, then-SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley paid tribute to the significant impact that Dr Elliott’s work as a clinician, educator and researcher has had on pharmacy practice and patient care.

‘With over 25 years’ experience in pharmacy practice, Dr Elliott has made an outstanding contribution to optimising patient outcomes, improving medication safety and advancing the role of clinical pharmacists across numerous healthcare settings, most significantly in geriatric medicine.

‘Dr Elliott brings a great deal of passion to this challenging field through his roles as Senior Aged Care Pharmacist at Austin Health, Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University and Chair of the SHPA Geriatric Medicine Leadership Committee.

‘As a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, he has played a leading role in the expansion of clinical pharmacy services in aged care, enhanced pharmacist roles in continuity of care and developed an expanded ward pharmacy technician role.’

In accepting the award, Dr Elliott called on all pharmacists to include geriatric medicine as an area of focus, as an ageing population sees the discipline becoming more and more integral to pharmacy practice.

‘The geriatric medicine pharmacist balances medication-related risks and benefits in the context of multiple comorbidities, polypharmacy, altered drug responses and, often, geriatric syndromes and functional decline.

‘It is important that the pharmacist tailors the treatment plan to the older individual, rather than simply applying evidence-based guidelines and treatment targets, as these are generally derived from studies that included few, if any, older people with multiple co-morbidities and polypharmacy.’

Dr Rohan Elliott said the rising importance of geriatric medicine can be seen across all pharmacy practice settings.

‘I believe all pharmacists who work with older people need an understanding of the principles of geriatric medicine and should apply these to the care of their patients.

‘Older people are the biggest consumers of medicines, so we all need to skill up to ensure we are providing optimum care for our ageing patients.

‘We’re all geriatric medicine pharmacists now.’

Professor Dooley also acknowledged the exceptional field of candidates nominated for the award including Luke Grzeskowiak, Michelle Nalder, Matthew Rawlins, Jo Sturtevant, Natalie Tasker and Penny Tuffin.

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