The Australian Digital Health Agency and aged care medication management specialists Webstercare have launched an e-health record initiative to improve the management of medications. 

The Pharmacist Shared Medicines List consolidates the prescription and non-prescription medicines, such as over-the-counter pain killers, vitamins and herbal remedies, prepared by a pharmacist.

The PSML is uploaded to a person’s My Health Record to help aged care and healthcare providers make informed prescribing and treatment decisions and assist in reducing medication errors.

Webstercare, which has worked with the ADHA for two years planning and developing the protocols and security requirements for the software, became the first to use the PSML in December.

Webstercare managing director Gerard Stevens said the new tool allows pharmacists using Webstercare systems to better communicate the complete list of a consumer’s medicines in a single clinical document.

“Aged care homes stand to benefit the most, as the medication records in the pharmacy are the most accurate and up to date,” Mr Stevens told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“Any resident living in aged care who is also having their medication set out in a Webster-pak has the potential for their PSML to be uploaded to the My Health Record.”

Gerard Stevens

It is useful for aged care residents because it can save time in urgent situations, he said.

“In the event of an emergency, access to complete data on the My Health Record via the PSML could make the difference between commencing treatment and unnecessary delays in the emergency department.

“Emergency room physicians talk about the time delays trying to work out exactly what a patient is on so as not to create more problems through administering medication incompatible with the current medications. This is especially important should the patient urgently require an anaesthetic,” Mr Stevens said.

The ADHA is working with software vendors to integrate the PSML functionality into other pharmacy systems across the country.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia national president Associate Professor Chris Freeman said the PSML represented a significant professional contribution of pharmacists to the e-health system.

“The pharmacist contribution of PSML to a person’s My Health Record means patients and health professionals will have access to more complete and accurate information about their medicines, including non-prescription medicines such as painkillers and herbal remedies,” Associate Professor Freeman said.

Tim Kelsey

Outgoing Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey said improving the safe use of medicines was a priority.

“Shared medicines lists will provide early benefits and help clinicians get more of the information they need to make challenging health decisions on behalf of their patients,” he said.

Mr Kelsey said the ADHA will also soon release the first National Medicines Safety Blueprint, “which will chart the course of holistically improving our digital health environment to reduce the number of medication-related problems experienced everyday Australians.”

Find out more about the Pharmacist Shared Medicines List here.

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