20 June 2013
Pharmacists working in the community will soon be able to access vital parts of patient shared health records from general practice. The aim of this project is to help health professionals collaborate more efficiently around patient health information providing better, sooner and more convenient services to them. The project has already seen multiple benefits for patients in hospital services in the Wairarapa.
Giving community pharmacists access to the shared care record will enable them to make use of information on patient’s medications, long term conditions and allergies. This information is traditionally stored in general practice. Pharmacists will be able to view a complete picture of a patient’s medication requirements and history, simply and quickly while the patient is being served. Patients, particularly those on numerous or complex medications may find it faster to get their medications from pharmacies with the new system.
“The addition of community pharmacy to the health care professionals accessing the Shared Care Record is a great example of how pharmacists can be integrated into the primary care team,” says Chris Kerr the Clinical Director for Compass Health.
Health professionals, who have helped drive this change, have praised the benefits of the new on-line information. ED doctors have found it invaluable when treating patients who are too sick or injured to give details of their allergies or current medications; GPs have found it saves time and decreases the number of repeat visits for patients being seen in, or transferring to another practice.
“The most useful information we need to share is about allergies, chronic medical conditions, and long term medications.”, says Dr Hooper, “There are many circumstances when a person can’t tell us that, or not in a timely way. I really support this as a way of reducing risk for patients, and improving the quality of the care we can provide.”
Within a community pharmacy only registered Pharmacists will have access to the Shared Care Record and only for the purpose of directly caring for a patient. Patients with wider concerns about their record being shared can ‘opt out’ of the having a record at any time. If anyone would like more information about this project or they would like to opt out of having a shared record they can phone 0800 727 664.