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Last updated 23 June 2016

Why “I encourage pharmacists, vendors and pharmacy owners to get ready and contribute to the My Health Record…” an interview with pharmacist Shane Jackson

Published 23 June 2016

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Shane Jackson has an established background as a pharmacist. Shane is a practicing community pharmacist, and owner of two rural community pharmacies in Tasmania. He also works as a ‘Consultant Pharmacist’ within the home and aged care settings

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How do you feel about My Health Record?

I am absolutely thrilled in the potential of the My Health Record system. More appropriate and timely access to patient information allows me to deliver better clinical care to my patients. I can also share the dispensing information I have to others, allowing them to improve the care they deliver to the patient.

How does My Health Record support the provision of pharmacy health services?

There is no doubt that access to the My Health Record system has allowed me to provide better clinical care with dose administration aids, clinical interventions, and Home Medicines Reviews. In the future with more shared health summaries available, Medschecks and Diabetes Medscheck services will be more targeted and result in good clinical outcomes.

How do other pharmacists feel about My Health Record?

I believe pharmacists aren’t as aware of the My Health Record system as they could be. Pharmacists often work in somewhat of an information vacuum and the ability to access additional information about a patient that may help in clinical decision making is very useful. The other important point is that dispensing information can be provided by pharmacists to a patient’s My Health Record which can enable timely access to medication information in hospitals and other settings.

For which patients is a My Health Record most important?

I truly believe that having a My Health Record is important for all Australians, but is more important for those who have chronic and complex medical conditions. Those patients often take multiple medicines, see lots of different healthcare providers and need assistance in managing their medications and conditions. Access to information about a patient outlining their medical conditions and outcomes of recent hospital presentations will enable better care to be delivered from their pharmacist in a community pharmacy.

What kinds of scenarios is the My Health Record most beneficial for?

I have come across a number of instances in my pharmacies where access to the patients’ My Health Record has been useful. As one example, having access to a discharge summary allowed me to gain an understanding of what has occurred in hospital for the patient and allowed me to be more actively involved in monitoring medication changes. It represented efficient use of my time in resolving medication discrepancies (in packing dose administration aids) after hospital discharge because the information has been at my fingertips.

Do patients expect that pharmacists share information with other healthcare providers?

Of course, there already is an expectation (by patients) that information that healthcare providers have should be accessible by other healthcare providers. Patients are often stunned when I inform them that I don’t have access to their dispensing information from another pharmacy. I use this as an opportunity to encourage that they register for a My Health Record. Patients absolutely expect that if a hospital rings for medication information about a patient from us that we provide it. But, wouldn’t it be fantastic if this was done electronically, this would create improvements in workflow, efficiency and outcomes for everyone involved.

How important is it for dispensing information held by pharmacists to be shared with other healthcare providers?

Pharmacists need to acknowledge that the dispensing information that they take for granted is extraordinarily important for other healthcare professionals to have available in order to provide the most appropriate clinical care. I encourage pharmacists, vendors and pharmacy owners to get ready and contribute to the My Health Record system.

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Last updated 23 June 2016