Pharmacists have been practising in the dark
for a long time. We’re asked to dispense medications, we’re responsible for the medications we’re
dispensing, but we don’t have all the information. That’s one of the things I’m most excited
about. It’s not just the access of information, but it’s the convenient access. And I know
that’s going to make a big difference, and it already has started to make a big difference
on how we make decisions in our pharmacies. I work in rural practice and community pharmacy.
When I’m in community pharmacy down the South East of Tassie and we have a lot of
tourists down on the Peninsula. Totally forgotten what all of their medications are, just down
for the day, and they’re feeling really nauseous and have an upset stomach. So in that situation
often we would work in a total information vacuum. We wouldn’t have the details that
we need for informing our clinical decision making. And may have treated that patient
just for their current symptoms. So by using the My Health Record I was able to see all
of their medications and noticed that one of their medications had recently been
increased in dose and one of the potential side effects was nausea. The My Health Record
essentially allows this sharing of information. Really it’s about efficient healthcare for
patients. As patients are getting more complex, they’re seeing more healthcare practitioners.
They may be seeing them in regional, in cities, in all sorts of areas. So that sharing of
information is really key. I also think as well that we’re moving to patient-centered
care and they need to have access to their information to be able to see and to understand
what’s happening to them. I think that might actually be a driver for certain conversations.
Once the patient is aware of an aspect of their healthcare that they can then engage
with particular healthcare practitioners and ask the questions that are important to them. For starters, it’s the 21st century. I think with everything else that’s going online, I
think health should be online as well. And it just makes everything a whole lot smoother.
It just makes for efficient healthcare and effective healthcare.