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Virtual clinical pharmacy service

Western NSW Local Health District

  • Translational Research Grants Scheme
Date Funded:
  • 13 June, 2019
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Dr. Shannon Nott

Unsafe medication practices and medication errors are a leading cause of injury and avoidable harm in healthcare systems across the world. Globally, the cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at $US42 billion annually. Errors can occur at different stages of the medication use process including prescribing, dispensing and administration, which can then result in severe harm, disability and even death.

Employing clinical pharmacists in hospitals has been found to reduce the rates of unsafe medication practices and medication errors leading to a reduction in preventable harms for patients obtaining care in these facilities. Unfortunately, for our rural and remote Australians, there is limited access to clinical pharmacists in health facilities located in smaller towns. — This project will provide a clinical pharmacy service using the advanced telehealth facilities to offer a solution to improve the delivery of safe and high-quality healthcare regardless of where a patient is admitted.

Our research will evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of a virtual clinical pharmacy service utilising telehealth technology to link in with rural and remote facilities to oversee the medication management process. The virtual pharmacist will review medication orders, offer advice and expertise on medication use, interview patients for their medication history on admission, plan their medications on discharge home and refer to additional services if needed.

This research has been developed via a collaborative partnership made up of clinicians, key state stakeholders and academic experts to ensure linkages in with local, state and national strategic plans to reduce medication-related harm, improve chronic disease management and enhance access to vital health care via the use of state-of-the-art technology.