Busselton is a coastal town on the southwest tip of Western Australia, best known for its surfing beaches and 19th century jetty. As a regional town, it has a close-knit community which David Williams plays an important role in.
David is the owner and operator of Friendly’s Pharmacy in Busselton, a community pharmacy that provides healthcare services and looks after the region's aged-care facilities.
“A community pharmacy is an important component of the healthcare team in a rural area,” David says. “Here in Busselton, we’re a small community. All the pharmacists know all the health professionals – very often we’re seeing the same patients.”
To make that connection even stronger, David and his team started using My Health Record. It improves the efficiencies of the many services they provide, including flu vaccinations, health checks and medication reviews.
“What I like about My Health Record is that it’s simple and easy to access a patient’s information. It brings clarity to a situation that can otherwise be quite complex,” David says. “Having that instant access to information makes servicing our patients easier.”
Knowing that he’s handling sensitive information about people in his community, David says privacy and security around My Health Record was an important consideration.
“Our pharmacists have to access My Health Record with their own specific access codes,” David says. “They have been trained in how to handle this kind of information with sensitivity and privacy. It’s just one way that the security of My Health Record is kept very high.”
Making medication safer
Pharmacies have a significant role to play in helping patients understand medication and ensuring their prescriptions are safe. But they often find themselves without all the information at hand – and it can be incredibly time consuming to find missing details.
The repercussions can be serious. Each year, approximately 230,000 Australians are admitted to hospital as a result of medication misadventure. That’s four times the annual number of people who end up in hospital as a result of road accidents.
David says this type of issue is common with patients recently discharged from hospital, as their medications often change. For pharmacists, it can be challenging to bring together information and make it clear what the patient needs to do next.
Now David can access a patient’s record when they come into the pharmacy, and he can clearly see their medication history to explain any changes.
“All of the information is together in one place and nothing will get missed,” David says. “When you’re making a decision as a health professional, you can only work with what’s in front of you. My Health Record brings all that information together, so you can make the right decisions.”