Leading the way

Dr Erica Tong

2020 Clinical Pharmacy Award winner revealed by SHPA 

Dr Erica Tong is the 2020 recipient of the Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award, from the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA).

The award was recognition of her “professional leadership, broad research impact and Australia-first innovations, including the development and implementation of partnered pharmacist charting”, the SHPA said.

Dr Tong, who is Deputy Director of Pharmacy, Chief Pharmacy Information Officer and Lead Clinical Pharmacist, Emergency and Acute Medicine at Alfred Health, and teaches in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University, was also “commended for her academic exploration of advanced practice roles for pharmacists in General Medicine and initiatives to broaden service provision”.

SHPA President Peter Fowler congratulated Dr Tong for her visionary leadership of Partnered Pharmacist Medication Charting (PPMC) in Victoria, which sees medical officers and hospital pharmacists collaborate to reduce duplication of effort, and consequently reduce medication errors.

In a 2019 study, which she led, the PPMC model was associated with a reduction in the proportion of patients with at least one medication error – from 66% to 3.6% – and reduced median length of inpatient hospital stay from 4.7 to 4.2 days.

“Today, the care model has been funded by the Victorian Department of Health for expansion to 24 rural and regional hospitals, showing the real impact of Erica’s innovation on outcomes for patients across the state,” Professor Fowler said.

“This award also recognises Erica’s dedication to supporting the next generation of hospital pharmacists, through her role as SHPA General Medicine Chair, developing the recently-published General Medicine Standard of Practice and developing the General Medicine Advanced Training Residency.”

In his commendation Professor Michael Dooley, Director of Pharmacy at Alfred Health, noted Dr Tong’s leadership of 24-hour clinical pharmacy service to The Alfred’s General Medicine Unit and Intensive Care Unit.

“This rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic has placed pharmacists firmly in the front line alongside their medical and nursing colleagues, to ensure safe medication use across the hospital 24 hours a day”.

Dr Tong will formally accept the 2020 Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award and deliver her oration to open Session 3 on Day 2 of the 2020 SHPA Virtual Congress on Sunday 22 November.

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