Kristin Michaels, the CEO of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia has welcomed the Government’s planned new approach to managing chronic disease patients.
Michaels says the Health Care Homes initiative paves the way for better coordination of care, better outcomes for patients with chronic disease, reduced hospital admissions and potential cost savings.
“SHPA has previously advocated for the patient-centred medical home care model and this trial is a step in the right direction,” says Michaels.
“Any initiative that paves the way for better chronic disease management through collaborative models of care is worth considering.
“Initiatives such as this require considerable change management support and SHPA is ready to provide advice and support for this trial, bringing to the table our expertise in the clinical management of medicines – the most commonly used intervention in managing chronic disease.”
Michaels says that over the longer term, a number of critical medicines related initiatives will lead to better, patient-focused continuity of care.
“When patients, especially those with multiple chronic diseases, transfer between episodes of care, it is important that healthcare providers, patients and their carers, collaborate to collate a medication history, conduct medication reconciliation and update the patient’s current medication list when appropriate,” she says.
“It is also important to ensure there is appropriate medication counselling for patients and carers and appropriate education for other members of the healthcare team to equip them with the knowledge and skills that achieves the best possible outcomes from the medicines.
“If we are to genuinely pursue a more effective and cost-efficient healthcare system, then it is important that, with respect to medication management, pharmacists act as advocates for patients to other members of the healthcare team, especially during transfers between episodes of care within the broader healthcare system.
“Pharmacists who have been involved in holistic patient management can facilitate more effective health care by undertaking medication management activities in collaboration with the healthcare team,” Michaels says.
Michaels says SHPA strongly supports collaborative care models, with shared patient records, that enable the patient, prescriber, pharmacist and other relevant health professionals to work together to address the needs of the individual patient.”
“The ‘Health Care Homes’ initiative is a step in the right direction and, hopefully, it will mature and evolve to incorporate best practice in medication management. SHPA supports this important patient-focused initiative.”