Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist December 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist December 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 17
It has been a year since non-dispensing pharmacist Radhika
Somasundarum joined our practice team. Since then, there has been a
gradual expansion of her role as we have all become more aware of her
skills and capabilities. I believe there is a lot further to go before we reach
the full scope of her capacity.
Initially we had a vision of conducting
in-practice medication reviews with
the aims of improving medication
management, education of the patient
as well as upskilling of the doctors.
The results exceeded expectation,
not only in terms of deprescribing and
medication optimisation, but also in
improved patient education and health
literacy. Doctors also reported improved
and more thoughtful prescribing habits.
Radhika has been able to source
evidence-based resources for the
doctors and staff to support the quality
use of medications. The benefits of the
partnership have thus extended far
beyond the initial patient population to
all the other patients in the practice.
Through these initial patient contacts,
it became clear there was a need for
improved patient education on use of
medications and devices. The value of
a clinical pharmacist in post-discharge
patient education and liaison with
hospitals and community pharmacy has
also become clearer.
As a result of our experiences, the
pharmacist's role has continued to grow.
The capacity to follow up patients within
the practice on a longitudinal basis
and conference with other members of
the practice team has added another
dimension to her work, allowing a far
more integrated role in chronic disease
management, such as developing and
monitoring management plans for
We are now commencing small group
education sessions for patients with
specific diseases such as COPD and
congestive cardiac failure. These will
be run by the pharmacist, dietician and
exercise physiologist, with support from
doctors and the practice nurse.
While there are many descriptions of
the medical home, there are common
threads. Central to these, are data
driven improvement and coordinated,
integrated, multidisciplinary team care,
which act as key enablers.
Many of the strengths and benefits of
the medical home arise from systematic
care planning and coordination of care.
This allows more proactive management
of patients and their needs with the
most suitable health professional within
We have found the benefits of
a coordinated and integrated
multidisciplinary team to be far more
subtle than at first appearances,
A pharmacist's place
in the medical home
BY DR KEAN SENG LIM MBBS SYD , FRACGP, GAICD, OWNER OF THE MT
DRUITT MEDICAL CENTRE IN WESTERN SYDNEY
BE OUR GUEST
with an improvement in knowledge
and understanding flowing across all
members and improving the capacity of
the team as a whole to provide a higher
level of care.
Our core clinical team now consists of
a clinical pharmacist, the GPs, practice
nurse, dietician, exercise physiologist
and psychologist. Each brings his
or her own perspective and skillset
to the table, allowing the team to
develop innovative approaches to the
task of primary healthcare delivery,
and allowing each to work to the full
scope of her or his capacity.
No less important than the task of
improving patient outcomes however,
is the importance of improving provider
satisfaction. This is a vital element of
maintaining a successful health system,
and is a key benefit of team-based care.
The clinical pharmacist is an integral
part of our team, providing skills and
knowledge which complement those of
the medical practitioners.
We have only begun our journey
towards developing a better way of
delivering primary care, but already this
has been a journey worth taking and a
journey we look forward to continuing.
1. Bodenheimer T, et al. From Triple to the Quadruple Aim.
Annals of Family Medicine, Nov/Dec 2012;12:6
2. Bodenheimer T, , The 10 Building Blocks of High Performing
Primary Care. Annals of Family Medicine. Mar/Apr2014;12:2.
"OUR CORE CLINICAL TEAM
NOW CONSISTS OF A CLINICAL
PHARMACIST, THE GPS,
PRACTICE NURSE, DIETICIAN,
EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST AND
PSYCHOLOGIST. EACH BRINGS HIS
OR HER OWN PERSPECTIVE AND
SKILLSET TO THE TABLE..."
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