The Australian Digital Health Agency and Pharmacy Guild join forces to help community pharmacies become leaders in digital health

The Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) and Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild) have committed to work together to help build the digital health capabilities of community pharmacies and advance the efficiency, quality and delivery of healthcare to improve health outcomes for all Australians.

Both strong advocates for the widespread adoption and use of the My Health Record system by community pharmacists to better the health of the public, the Agency and the Guild have now entered into a collaborative partnership aimed at driving adoption and use of the My Health Record system by community pharmacies (supported by education and training) and maximising the medicines safety benefits.

Image (left to right): David Quilty, Brad Butt, Thanh Le, and Tim Kelsey

The role of community pharmacists in delivering quality use of medicines outcomes is more important than ever, with an aging population and the growing prevalence of complex, chronic disease.1,2 All medicines have the potential for side effects and can interact with other medicines. Each year 230,000 people are admitted to hospital, and many more people experience reduced quality of life, as a result of unintended side effects of their medicines. This comes at a cost to the system of more than $1.2 billion.3

“The Agency and the Guild have a mutual interest in continuing to develop and deliver community pharmacy digital health capability that will lead to significant improvements in the quality and delivery of care provided to consumers.

Specifically, the Agency and Guild will be working on optimising connectivity to the My Health Record system through dedicated community pharmacy support including continuing professional development and pursuing meaningful use facilitators in areas such as shared care planning, transitional care, telehealth and interoperability with pharmacy clinical service IT platforms,” said Agency Chief Executive Tim Kelsey.

“The Guild welcomes this collaboration with the Agency as a step towards optimised integration of community pharmacies in the My Health Record system. Community pharmacists have long been early adopters and innovators in digital health, and this will spur the sector on to make an even bigger contribution,” Guild Executive Director David Quilty said.

The My Health Record system has the potential to empower community pharmacies in delivering safer and more efficient care by providing real-time access to usable, useful, reliable, and up-to-date medicines information and broader health information.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) President, practising pharmacist, and specialist adviser to the Agency Dr Shane Jackson said community pharmacies plays a key role in the provision of medicines in our community and uptake of the My Health Record in community pharmacies will allow that dispensing information to be shared and used by other health professionals.

“We look forward to supporting pharmacists in the use of the My Health Record over the coming months, to ensure they are well equipped to not only upload information to the My Health Record but also to use the information to deliver better care to consumers,” Dr Jackson said.

ENDS
Media contact: David Cooper, Senior Media Manager
Mobile: 0428 772 421 Email: [email protected]

About the Digital Health Agency

The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia. The Agency was established on 1 July 2016 by the Australian Government as a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity, and reports to all Australian governments through the COAG Health Council.
www.digitalhealth.gov.au

1http://appconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/PharmacyGuild_HealthyFuturesReport2017_McCrindle_Mar17.pdf

2http://www.psa.org.au/downloads/ent/uploads/filebase/corporate/advocacy/PSA-2016-17-Budget-Submission.pdf

3 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2013. Literature Review: Medication Safety in Australia. ACSQHC, Sydney

Download: Media Release - The Australian Digital Health Agency and Pharmacy Guild join forces to help community pharmacies become leaders in digital health - 25 Jul 2017 (PDF, 429kB)