Pharmacist scores research excellence award


Erica Tong has received the 2017 Sir Richard Stawell Memorial Prize and the MDA National Prize for Excellence from the Medical Journal of Australia.
Erica Tong has received the 2017 Sir Richard Stawell Memorial Prize and the MDA National Prize for Excellence from the Medical Journal of Australia.

Monash Pharmacy PhD student Erica Tong has received a prestigious award from the MJA for her research paper on reducing medication errors in hospital discharge summaries

Erica Tong has received the MDA National Prize for Excellence from the Medical Journal of Australia, which honours the authors of the best original clinical research article published in the journal each calendar year.

Ms Tong, from the Monash Centre for Medicine Use and Safety (CMUS), is also Deputy Director of Pharmacy, Chief Pharmacy Information Officer, and Lead Clinical Pharmacist for the Emergency and Acute Medicine at Alfred Health in Melbourne.

The winning research led by Ms Tong evaluated whether pharmacists completing the medication management plan in the medical discharge summary decreased the rate of medication errors in these summaries.

Ms Tong and co-authors found that completion of the medication management plan by a pharmacist led to medication errors occurring at a rate of 15%, compared to 61.5% with standard medical discharge summaries.

The absolute risk reduction for at least one medication error was 46.5%, while the absolute risk reduction for a high or extreme risk error was 9.6%.

Ms Tong’s supervisors and co-authors from CMUS, SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley and Associate Professor Kirstie Galbraith from Monash University, congratulated Ms Tong on her achievement.

“For MJA to award its major annual prize to a lead author who is a pharmacist and also still completing their PhD an endorsement of the importance and impact of this research,” Associate Professor Galbraith said.

Ms Tong receives a $10,000 prize and a plaque, with the prize presented at the Annual AMA National Conference.

See the full research article here.

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