The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the focus on avoidable hospital readmissions in today’s COAG Communique.
In the Communique, Government leaders identified the disturbing fact that far too many patients are readmitted to hospitals as a result of complications arising from the management of their original condition.
The Guild’s National President, George Tambassis, says that as medicine and medicines management experts, community pharmacists are a vital factor in tackling Australia’s unacceptably high levels of hospital admission and readmission.
There are 230,000 hospital admissions annually due to medicine related causes, costing $1.2 billion, with about 50% of hospital admissions due to adverse drug events considered to be avoidable.
It’s also been estimated that 12% of patients have an error in their hospital discharge prescription, the Guild says.
“There is much more that can be done to tackle this recurring problem, and community pharmacy can play an important role in addressing this pattern,” Tambassis says.
The Guild strongly supports the Federal Government’s significantly increased investment in community pharmacy programs announced in last year’s Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement to $1.26 billion, including $50 million for a Pharmacy Trial Program.
One of the first three areas of focus for the Pharmacy Trial Program will be a community pharmacy based medicine reconciliation service for patients discharged from hospital who are at high risk of medicine related adverse events.