The role of a pharmacist is broad and it is not just limited to community and hospital industries. During this time of the pandemic, a pharmacist is even more needed in the aged-care sector.
Looking back at the previous Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) SA Pharmacy Award, one award-winning pharmacist, Julian Soriano, initiated the pharmacist’s role in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs).
Since pharmacists are drug experts who can provide better medication and health management to patients, their role in improving the lives of Australians, especially the elderly, is very crucial to the country.
The Importance of Regular Pharmacist Visits to Aged-Care
Based on one research from the University of South Australia, it was reported that regular pharmacist visits to aged-care facilities or nursing homes can reduce medication-related problems.
Eventually, this could promote better health outcomes. In the study, it was found that a pharmacist-led intervention is effective in improving the cognition scores of the 248 aged-care residents across 39 aged-care facilities in South Australia and Tasmania.
The concern here is that there is a high rate of medication-related harm. There were 6 sessions in the study and the pharmacist visit happens every 8 weeks. Every session, the pharmacist would record new illnesses, conditions, and adverse drug reactions.
During the first pharmacist visit session, the percentage of symptom reports of patients is around 79%, and this rate decreased in the next sessions.
In the last session, the percentage of symptom reports was only around 64%. This concludes that the pharmacists’ recommendation and monitoring of medications can reduce adverse reactions. Some of the recommendations of pharmacists include the following:
Stopping the use of the medication
Increase and decrease in medication use
According to one of the researchers, Professor Libby Roughead, medicines are the most prescribed health intervention for older people, yet they’re also the catalyst for concern for many aged-care residents.
Funding for On-Site Pharmacists
To improve the medication management in Residential Aged Care Facilities, the Australian Government invested around $345.7 million in on-site pharmacists and community pharmacy services.
According to the minister of Health and Aged Care, Minister Greg Hunt, one of the Government’s generational reforms include improving medication management for senior Australians living in aged care. Additionally, having a pharmacist on-site will give residents and their families confidence that the medications being received by patients are appropriate.
For pharmacists, this will also be an experience for them to understand the medication issues across the facilities, making them suitable for improving medical management safety, especially when considering the overuse of antipsychotics.
Furthermore, the Aged-Care sector will work together with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia in implementing these important reforms, and this program will begin on January 1, 2023.
Community Pharmacist’s Role in Aged Care
Even community pharmacists are also essential in improving the quality of life of aged-care residents. As cited in the Guild, the knowledge and skills of community pharmacists would be of great help in addressing the issue of chemical restraint in aged care.
By strengthening the connection between community pharmacists and aged-care facilities, the quality use of medications can be enhanced. According to the Guild, integrating the community pharmacy with residential aged-care facilities is a great help to meet each resident’s medicine management needs.
If you want to work as an aged-care pharmacist, Raven’s Recruitment can help you out. At Raven’s Recruitment, we can help you find the best part-time and full-time nursing home jobs while considering your preference and lifestyle.
Since 1987, Raven's Recruitment has been specialising in Pharmacist recruitment, so we have expert knowledge in the space. If you are looking for an exciting opportunity to work as a locum pharmacist or want a permanent job, then look no further - get in touch with our Recruitment Consultants today.