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Making Health Better
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“It’s so easy to use and I can see how it is going to make my job much easier,” said Terry White pharmacist Rebecca Zarate, who took part in a professional development training opportunity offered by Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) in Townsville.

In February, NQPHN partnered with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Australian Digital Health Agency to offer My Health Record in Pharmacy training in Mackay and Townsville. From the agency, Shane Jackson, a rural pharmacist and clinical reference lead, and Heather McDonald, Director Education and Adoption, delivered the training

This training supported pharmacists to access, view and upload dispense records to the My Health Record system, and to communicate its benefits to their staff and customers.

“NQPHN came to our pharmacy to conduct initial training for us last year, and as can happen, we got busy, so I appreciated the opportunity to have this refresher training and to see how simple it is to use,” said Rebeca.

“I can see the benefit to the patient and healthcare provider of having access to additional information.

“The other day a person wanted some epilepsy medication but was not aware of which one they were on.

“I was unable to dispense medication without that information, so accessing their My Health Record could have supported a better outcome for the patient.”

Shane agrees that one of the key benefits for digital health and My Health Record in particular, is helping patients manage their healthcare better.

“With the move towards patient-centred care, the more healthcare information a patient can access about themselves with supporting resources such as apps, the more in control they are and the better healthcare they can receive,” he said.

“Pharmacists can add valuable information to the My Health Record system with a click of a button.

“Their system holds the dispensing records, but the treating GP, hospital, specialists, or other treating healthcare providers will not have access to that information unless the pharmacist is registered with My Health Record.

“And for the pharmacist, they will be able to access information that they would not have had, in an efficient, effective and valuable way, resulting in better care for the patient. A good example is when a patient has been discharged from hospital, the pharmacist can access their discharge summary, which will help them provide ongoing care and support after the patient is discharged.”

NQPHN’s Digital Health Regional Coordinator, Renata Danisevska, wanted to provide accredited training for our regional pharmacists, and an opportunity for providers to provide feedback on their experiences of the recent My Health Record trial.

“Quite often pharmacists need to travel interstate to receive accredited training so it is important for NQPHN to partner up and offer professional development training opportunities right here in north Queensland,” Renata said.

“In addition, the NQPHN region was one of two selected to implement the Australian Government’s opt-out trial of My Heath Record, so our pharmacists have first-hand information to feedback directly to the Australian Digital Health Agency and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.”

The trial resulted in nine out of 10 north Queenslanders now having a My Health Record, which is much more than the 19 percent in Tasmania where Shane Jackson resides and has two pharmacies.

“The pharmacists in north Queensland are fortunate to have such a high percentage, so it was good see people take up this training opportunity and embrace the simplicity and accessibility of the My Health Record system,” said Shane.

My Health Record in Pharmacy training will be held in Cairns on Wednesday 5 April from 6.30pm to 8pm. Further details can be found here: www.nqphn.com.au/event/mhr-training-pharmacists-cairns

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