Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist May 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist May 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
In relation to service provision for
OSA, all pharmacy staff should be
• their roles and responsibilities for this
• policies and procedures for collecting
consumer healthcare information,
including Aboriginal and Torres Strait
• privacy legislation
• cultural safety.
The pharmacist's role in sleep apnoea
services may include:
• involvement in identifying patients at
risk of sleep apnoea
• discussing complications of untreated
• referring patients to an appropriately
trained physician for clinical
• involvement in discussing home sleep
tests with patient as requested by a
• advising patients on the treatment(s)
recommended by their physician
e.g. why CPAP was recommended and
the advantages of CPAP treatment
• educating patients on lifestyle
modifications to improve sleep
• raising consumer awareness about
sleep health problems by undertaking
health promotions and linking in with
national promotional programs
• collaboration with other health
professionals involved in patient's care
• involvement in monitoring patient
adherence and referring patients back
to the physician if CPAP therapy was
Several studies have identified the need
for professional guidelines to promote
standardisation of service provision,
and ensure quality of patient care
and interdisciplinary communication,
uphold pharmacy's reputation,
delineate professional roles and establish
However, pharmacists should always
work in collaboration with the patient's
GP and specialist when providing these
services to maximise the health benefits
for the consumer.
The provision of sleep apnoea services through pharmacies is gaining
pace with one prediction tipping that home sleep studies will grow 75%.
This prediction, made during a
presentation at the APP Conference this
year by Rupesh Chudasama of IMS Health,
indicates it will be the fastest-growing
area of professional services.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia,
in conjunction with the Australasian Sleep
Association, has developed a document
titled Practice guidelines for the provision
of sleep apnoea services within pharmacy.
This work is the result of extensive
consultation and collaboration between
the two organisations over some time.
Development of these guidelines
followed the identification of the need
for standardisation of service provision
and to ensure quality of patient
care. There was also the recognition
of the need for interdisciplinary
communication, to uphold pharmacy's
reputation, to delineate professional roles
and to establish practice boundaries.
PSA's new guidelines aim to provide
information on best practice in
implementing sleep apnoea services and
to promote high standards of practice
and uniformity in the provision of
sleep apnoea services from community
pharmacies and will be an invaluable tool
for those involved in this area.
Pharmacies are frequented by
consumers due to easy access and
convenience, and pharmacists and
pharmacy staff are well placed to
provide sleep apnoea services but
planning and investment is required.
Pharmacists and pharmacy staff can be
successfully trained to identify patients at
risk of a sleep problem. Pharmacists and
their staff can have a role in the primary
care management of obstructive
sleep apnoea (OSA), particularly in the
identification, screening and referral
of 'at-risk' patients. Availability of
home-based sleep screening tests for
sleep apnoea via community pharmacy
provides easy, timely and cost-effective
access for patients.
Pharmacies can also provide
continuous positive airway pressure
(CPAP) device education, disease state
management, patient support and
follow-up, and monitoring of adherence.
Community pharmacies have the
potential to promote (OSA) awareness
and improve optimal usage of CPAP.
Pharmacists and pharmacy assistants
have different roles and responsibilities
in providing sleep apnoea services and
these should be defined and clarified
before the service is implemented.
All pharmacy staff must be informed
about their roles and responsibilities
within the service, including relevant
policies and procedures.
BY GRANT KARDACHI, FPS
NATIONAL PRESIDENT SAYS
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