Media release - Another milestone reached - Webstercare becomes the first organisation to start using the Pharmacist Shared Medicines List

20 December 2019: The Australian Digital Health Agency, together with Webstercare – the creator of the Webster-pak® – has today launched a new clinical document within My Health Record to reduce medication-related problems in Australia, and specifically those experienced by Australia’s older population.

The Pharmacist Shared Medicines List (PSML) is a consolidated list of medicines prepared by a pharmacist and uploaded to a patient’s My Health Record. The PSML will compile both prescription and non-prescription medicines, including over-the-counter and complementary medicines, such as vitamins and herbal remedies.

The overview the PSML will provide for healthcare providers will enable them to make more informed prescribing and treatment decisions and assist in reducing medication mishaps.

Particularly relevant at times of transitions of care, the PSML is a comprehensive list of medicines at a specific point in time, such as on discharge from a hospital when a patient’s care is being transferred to another health care provider – a common occurrence in Australia’s elderly population.

Associate Professor Chris Freeman, National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says the Pharmacist Shared Medicines List represents a significant professional contribution of pharmacists to My Health Record.

“As PSA’s Medicine Safety: Take Care report found, 250,000 hospital admissions in Australia each year are due to medicine-related problems and half of these are preventable. The pharmacist contribution of PSML to a person’s My Health Record means patients and health professionals will have access to more complete and accurate information about their medicines, including non-prescription medicines such as painkillers and herbal remedies. By having access to this information, decisions about prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines will be more informed and safer,” says Associate Professor Freeman.

George Tambassis, National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia says “The Guild has advocated for the benefits of the My Health Record as an opportunity for pharmacists to be more actively involved in the clinical care of patients. The PSML will enhance the accuracy of medicines information in My Health Record as it provides a consumer’s comprehensive list of medicines at a point in time, curated by a pharmacist”.

The first Pharmacist Shared Medicines List was uploaded into the My Health Record system today at Metropolitan Pharmacy Services, a community pharmacy in Leichhardt, Sydney.

“Many of our patients using our dose administration aids are older Australians. Our Webster-pak® system provides assistance to ensure they are taking their medicines safely and at the right time each day, which may help them stay in their own home, instead of needing additional care,” says Webstercare Managing Director, pharmacist and inventor of the Webster-pak®, Gerard Stevens AM.

“But the pack itself only contains those medicines taken orally and packed in the Webster-pak®. The addition of the Pharmacist Shared Medicines List in My Health Record will allow pharmacists using Webstercare systems to better communicate the complete list of a consumer’s medicines in a single clinical document. This will make a big impact – for that person’s GP, specialist, clinician at the local hospital – by giving them a better understanding of the medicines that person is taking.”

The Agency is working with software providers to integrate the Pharmacist Shared Medicines List functionality into other pharmacy systems across the country.

Improving medicines safety is a core component of the Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy, endorsed by all state and territory government through the COAG Health Council.

Agency Chief Executive Officer, Tim Kelsey says, “Improving the safe use of medicines is a core priority of Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy. Shared medicines lists will provide early benefits and help clinicians get more of the information they need to make challenging health decisions on behalf of their patients. The Agency will soon be releasing the first National Medicines Safety Blueprint, which will chart the course for holistically improving our digital health environment to reduce the number of medication-related problems experienced everyday by Australians.”

ENDS

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About the Australian Digital Health Agency

The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia in collaboration with partners across the community. The Agency is the System Operator of My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare providers to deliver informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au

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