Thursday, 09 November 2017 16:34

Pharmacists, Digital Health Agency partner on My Health Record initiative

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Pharmacists, Digital Health Agency partner on My Health Record initiative Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The peak national body representing pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, is partnering with the Australian Digital Health Agency in a move designed to help increase the number of pharmacists using My Health Record – a digital system that enables healthcare providers to share secure health data and improve the safety and quality of patient care.

Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the partnership on Thursday and said the PSA represented 30,000 pharmacists working in all areas of pharmacy across the country, and is “ideally placed to develop and deliver education, training, information, and communications for the pharmacy profession”.

“This partnership will help PSA to increase the number of pharmacists working in all practice settings registered, able to view, and automatically upload medicines information to My Health Record," he said.

“PSA will also review, update, and develop professional guidelines for pharmacy practice, and implementation tools for digital health.”

Australian Digital Health Agency chief agency Tim Kelsey said that 5.2 million Australians already have a My Health Record and 12.8 million prescription and dispense records have been uploaded to the system.  

“Access to current, timely, and accurate My Health Record enhances clinical decision making and consumer care, particularly when consumers are cared for by multiple healthcare providers and visit multiple healthcare organisations,” he said.

“My Health Record also provides pharmacists access to clinically relevant information from other healthcare providers including hospital discharge summaries, GP shared health summaries, and consumer-entered information about over-the-counter medications and other supplements.”

PSA national president Dr Shane Jackson welcomed the new partnership, saying there was significant potential for pharmacists to use digital health records as a tool to communicate with other health professionals, particularly during transitions of care.

“My Health Record will provide access to verifiable clinical information such as a shared health summary, which is really useful when you’re sitting down with a patient for a MedsCheck or Home Medication Review. The benefit to patients is safer and more effective care. 

“Pharmacists will be able to understand what’s happened to the patient in hospital, what changes may have been made, and what they need to do to follow up. My Health Record really shines a light on a patient’s health status so you can tailor their care.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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