New tool aims to minimise medication errors

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The Australian Digital Health Agency and Webstercare have jointly launched a new clinical document, the Pharmacist Shared Medicines List (PSML), within My Health Record.

The PSML is a consolidated list of medicines prepared by a pharmacist and uploaded to a patient’s My Health Record.

It compiles both prescription and non-prescription medicines, including over-the-counter and complementary medicines, such as vitamins and herbal remedies.

This list will include details on how and when a patient takes their medicines.

It can only be added to My Health Record by a pharmacist and, if uploaded, can be found in the ‘Documents’ section of a patient’s record.

If a patient has a PSML, healthcare providers will be able to quickly access their most up-to-date medicines information.

The PSML is different from the Medicines Information view, which allows patients to quickly look for, sort and display their most important health information in their record by date or by medicine name.

PSA national president Chris Freeman said the new list represents a significant professional contribution of pharmacists to My Health Record.

“As PSA’s Medicine Safety: Take Care report found, 250,000 hospital admissions in Australia each year are due to medicine-related problems and half of these are preventable,” says A/Prof Freeman.

“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.

“By having access to this information, decisions about prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines will be more informed and safer.”

Pharmacy Guild national president George Tambassis said the PSML “will enhance the accuracy of medicines information in My Health Record as it provides a consumer’s comprehensive list of medicines at a point in time, curated by a pharmacist”.

The first PSML was uploaded into the My Health Record system on 20 December 2019 at Metropolitan Pharmacy Services, a community pharmacy in Leichhardt, Sydney, which is run by Gerard Stevens, the founder and managing director of Webstercare.

“The addition of the Pharmacist Shared Medicines List in My Health Record will allow pharmacists using Webstercare systems to better communicate the complete list of a consumer’s medicines in a single clinical document,” said Mr Stevens, a pharmacist and the creator of the Webster-pak.

“This will make a big impact – for that person’s GP, specialist, clinician at the local hospital – by giving them a better understanding of the medicines that person is taking.”

The Australian Digital Health Agency is now working with software providers to integrate the PSML functionality into other pharmacy systems across the country.

“Improving the safe use of medicines is a core priority of Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy,” said Agency CEO Tim Kelsey.

“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.”

Lanham Media works closely with Webstercare to achieve significant media coverage in consumer and trade media, particularly outlets communicating with those working in pharmacy, aged care and general practice.

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