PSNZ Professional Services Award winners

The Rotorua Area Primary Health Services (RAPHS) entered their clinical service across the RAPHS network with a focus on improving patient outcomes and ensuring optimal medicines utilisation in the Pharmaceutical Society Professional Services Pharmacy Award.

They subsequently took out the award at the Pharmacy Awards on Saturday 6 August.

The Society extends its warmest congratulations to Clinical Facilitators, Eui- Jin Kim and Michael Hammond and the whole team at RAPHS on this outstanding accomplishment.

This article provides a brief summary of the service offered by RAPHS and the gains for patients they are achieving.

The services includes;

  • üUse of evidence based screening and interventions at a population level
  • üProvision of clinical pharmacy services directly and indirectly to patients
  • üProvision of an education and advice service to primary health care providers

Linking patients with existing community based pharmacy services, for example MUR, plus enhanced services as these are developed.

The clinical pharmacy service is being established with the aim of realising the full potential of medicines management roles and services, as outlined in the New Zealand National Pharmacist Services Framework and supporting better integration of general practice and pharmacy services.

The service aims to enhance the LINC model of care by offering wrap around medicines services to patients through a virtually integrated interdisciplinary team including general practices, community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and the RAPHS team.

The service is bridging gaps between general practice, community pharmacy, hospital and patient.Unique in New Zealand, the service model has led to the creation of two new clinical pharmacy roles at RAPHS as part of the organisation’s efforts to improve health outcomes for about 3000 high risk patients.

Currently 9 practices have adopted the new clinical pharmacy service but the aim is to have all 16 of RAPH’s general practices using it to better meet the health needs of its patients who meet the strict criterion.

These are patients who have been identified as high-risk for medicines-related issues for example elderly, polypharmacy or having a large number of comorbidities.They have a 45minute long consultation with one of the clinical pharmacists where as a collaborative team they discuss their medications, identify side-effects and find out if they’re getting the best healthcare possible.The pharmacists review all of the patient’s clinical records, observations and laboratory results in order to formulate suggestions for the patient’s ongoing care.These recommendations are fed back to the GP and the patient has two subsequent follow-ups.

A critical component of the service is the use of RAPHS’ smart IT systems that give the service a point of difference. There is a high level of integrated technology and this allows the pharmacists to have the information at their fingertips and enable prevention and planning work behind the scenes, maximising the time the pharmacists can spend performing their clinical roles with patients in front of them.

The service began in February 2016.

Point of difference

Unlike other clinical pharmacy services operating around the country the service is different in that the pharmacists aren’t based within one or two general practices or employed by a District Health Board.

Utilising RAPHS’ smart IT system, Michael and Eui-Jin have access to centralised health information which means they can be based at RAPHS’ office and serve its entire health network, ensuring all patients who qualify can benefit from the service.

Positive outcomes

While the service is relatively new, the community pharmacy team is delighted with the overwhelmingly positive feedback they’ve received from patients who have participated.

Michael says, “Sometimes the changes we recommend are small but they can make a big difference for patients and their overall quality of life.It could be changing their dosing regime and the timing of when they take their medication to better manage their condition.”