13 Aug, 2014
The Victorian Branches of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and RDNS (Royal District Nursing
Service) jointly welcomed an announcement by the Victorian Department of Health to provide
funding for a Quality Use of Medicines project.
The time-limited project was recommended by the Health Innovation and Reform Council
(HIRC) to the Victorian Minister for Health and the Secretary of the Department of Health to
target consumers with multiple medications who are capable of managing their own medicines
Support these consumers to develop necessary health literacy to advocate for quality
use of medicines (reconciled medications);
Support GP referrals to community pharmacists to access medication reconciliation
Support GP’s to work with patients and the community pharmacist to ensure that
the GP records reconciled against the consumer held record; and
Implement a re-call function 6-12 months after initial medication reconciliation to
assess changes over time.
In response to the advice, the Department of Health in partnership with the Pharmacy Guild of
Australia and RDNS will work with target groups of consumers (elderly patients taking more
than seven medications) who are capable of managing their own medications, and support them
to develop necessary health literacy to manage their medications more effectively.
President of the Victorian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild, Anthony Tassone congratulated the
Health Minister for endorsing the project on the advice of the HIRC.
“With 2-3% of Australian hospital admissions being medication related, and 10-15% of hospital
admissions in older people thought to be medication related – such projects are vital to improve
quality use of medicines and reduce preventable hospital admissions and healthcare
“More than 50% of medication errors occur at transitions of care, and poor medication
reconciliations can result in unplanned hospital readmissions. Pharmacists as medicine experts
can play a vital role in improving health outcomes for consumers and the Pharmacy Guild is
delighted to work with RDNS to deliver this essential project in partnership with the Victorian
Department of Health,” Mr Tassone explained.
“Older people living in the community are taking more medicines than ever before. To better
support and enable them, their families and carers, new approaches are needed,” said Fiona
Hearn, Victorian General Manager at RDNS.
“RDNS’ home nursing and support services are integral to the wellbeing of many thousands of
older people every day, especially in assisting them to manage their medicines safely. The aims
of this project are in line with our commitment to investigate and implement new practices which
safely enhance the independence and capacity of older people.”
The project will work in partnership with GP’s, community pharmacists and RDNS nurses as
key members of the healthcare team for this group of consumers.
The Victorian Government’s support for this project has been endorsed by an allocation of
funds to undertake the pilot study in collaboration with the Pharmacy Guild and RDNS. The
Pharmacy Guild and RDNS have both agreed to provide in-kind contributions of staff to
support the project in partnership.
Louise Reynolds 03 9810 9999
John Allin (RDNS) 0419 208 968