The utilisation of all health professionals through collaborative multi-disciplinary models of care is essential to the success of health care reform. With medication often the main or only treatment option for many illnesses, including cancer, pharmacists as the ‘medicines experts’, are integral members of the health care team.
The safe and efficacious use of medicines is the professional domain of pharmacists no matter which part of the health system they work within. This includes the traditional role in dispensing and supplying medicines along with providing advice to patients, carers, prescribers, nurses and other health professionals, to support the Quality Use of Medicines.
Recent and current reforms, particularly in primary health care have seen the role of pharmacists extend beyond the supply of medicines and associated advice, to the provision of professional services which complement those of other health professionals. Examples of innovation include health screening, blood pressure monitoring, minor ailments, blood glucose and cholesterol testing and monitoring, dose administration aids, staged supply services, palliative care and pain management.
In this presentation you will learn about recent innovations in community pharmacy and the implications for cancer care. Patient-centred and team-based care, are fundamental principles as we move forward as a profession. Pharmacists are realising the opportunity they have to assist individuals and the community to improve health literacy, better understand their illnesses, manage side-effects, implement disease prevention and self care strategies. The profession is stepping into this space and filling in the gaps at local levels by responding to individuals’ health care needs on a daily basis. Governments are recognising the value in better utilising this highly skilled workforce, and the well-structured and accessible ‘health hubs’ of community pharmacies distributed across the community.
You will also discover how pharmacists are working in settings such as general practices, hospices, aged care facilities and as medication review consultants within the home. Reforms are being supported through more formalised referral systems enabling team-based care, which is truly patient centred.