Studies show that medication errors are commonly reported in aged care facilities and potentially lead to adverse drug events and further health complications. Quality care may potentially be compromised without regular medication reviews, ongoing medication support, and real-time expert advice should an adverse event occur.
Goodwin collaborated with the University of Canberra to fund pioneering research in a successful six-month trial, which revealed that despite strong evidence that pharmacists can help to reduce the risk of medication errors in aged care, there wasn’t a single aged care facility in Australia that had an on-site pharmacist.
Based on the findings of the trial, Goodwin Aged Care Services in Canberra became the first Australian residential aged care provider to appoint an accredited pharmacist full-time, Richard Thorpe.
This innovative step means that the on-site pharmacist can respond to the needs of residents day-to-day. Goodwin has several facilities in Canberra and if an acute issue arises, Mr Thorpe has access to all the relevant information to provide accurate advice—regardless of the resident’s location.
Mr Thorpe is working closely with local GPs conducting medication reviews and providing advice to staff and residents on medication-related issues, with a particular focus on antimicrobial and antipsychotic stewardship.
This service is different to Residential Medication Management Reviews, which are initiated by the resident’s GP and undertaken in collaboration with a contracted pharmacist, and only occur as needed.
The end goal of having an on-site pharmacist is to maintain quality use of medicines (QUM) and reduce the risk of medication errors. Goodwin residents are benefitting from easy access to pharmacist advice on the safe use of medicines.
Goodwin hopes on-site pharmacists in residential aged care facilities become a common feature across Australia.
For more information please visit www.goodwin.org.au