Role expansion

Enhanced RMMRs and CPA-linked programs are key to aged care improvement, say consultant pharmacists

The Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy (AACP) has issued a statement welcoming the findings of the recent Interim Report from the Royal Commission in Aged Car Quality and Safety.

The report recommended lifting the existing cap on the Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR) program, and moves to “enhance and improve” the program are welcome, AACP said.

The organisation also said the Community Pharmacy Agreement could be used to link a pharmacy-led Quality Use of Medicines program to aged care homes.

The AACP said the report highlighted areas where more must be done to improve health outcomes for older people in the aged care sector, as well as recommending “where and how pharmacists, and particularly accredited pharmacists via the RMMR program, may be improved to assist older Australians health outcomes and day to day care”.

Dr Stephen Carter, AACP chair, said he agreed with the statements made by Pharmacy Guild and Pharmaceutical Society of Australia leaders that more must be done for older Australians and soon.

Dr Carter said the AACP believes that an enhanced Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) program linked to aged care facilities via the 6CPA, which isn’t specifically mentioned by the Report, also may have a place in improving health outcomes.

“Accredited pharmacists have been engaged with the aged care sector for many years in delivering RMMRs that can and do lead to improved circumstances for older Australians – the recommendations set out by the Interim Report can only further enhance the value of the accredited pharmacists role in supporting older Australians living in care, ” he said.

“The AACP is ready and willing to be involved in planning and delivery discussions on how to meet the Interim Report’s recommendations pertaining to the improvement and enhancement of the RMMR program as part of the solution in addressing the Report’s detailed concerns”.

Click here for an in-depth review of the position of other pharmacy groups on the report, as well as AJP reader views


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  1. Debbie Rigby

    Thank you AACP for publicly supporting the role of accredited pharmacists in aged care. RMMRs have been conducted now for more than 20 years and QUM services for a substantial time under various program rules and funding models. Clearly the current model is not sufficient to have a consistent and quality impact on medication management and optimal use of medicines in aged care. Quality assurance on these services has always been lacking; support and guidance by our pharmacy organizations has been variable and inconsistent; many accredited pharmacists are seeking best practice but it is not well-defined and only some are currently achieving it.

    I welcome further discussion on just what the role can be. Enhancements to the model need to be carefully considered and experienced providers and researchers need to be part of the consultation.

  2. Well done AACP.

    1) Deliver RMMR differently (write straight into notes ensuring increased pharmacist presence and engagement)

    2) Enhanced and strictly defined QUM and clinical pharmacy programs (AMS, case conferencing, psychotropic surveillance, chart checks etc. )

    3) Increased funding to support enhanced QUM/RMMR activities

    • Karalyn Huxhagen

      Totally agree Alex. There does have to be fair remuneration for the expertise that we provide. In aged care there are too many services provided for nil to pittance due to the profession degrading itself under the cloak of competition.

      Right now I need guidance and support aa we evolve to the next level of provision of aged care services. I am skeptical as to who will fund me to provide this expanded service role. ( which I already do with minimal support)

  3. Debbie Rigby

    Whilst chemical restraint and inappropriate psychotropic drug use is the current focus, better medication management in aged care facilities goes far beyond this. AMS, medication errors especially at transitions of care, deprescribing, nurse and carer education, improved liaison with the supply pharmacist, collaborative care with GPs, visiting specialists and RNs, and …… all need greater surveillance and input from pharmacists.

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