Minimising Medication Misadventure in Rural Communities: Bridging the Gap between General Practitioners and Medication Reviews

Ms Eunice Fu1, Mrs Michelle  Rothwell1

1Atherton Hospital Pharmacy Department, Atherton, Australia

Abstract:

Medication misadventure is a significant public health burden and patients are at particular risk when transitioning between care settings. Home Medication Reviews (HMRs) have been shown to reduce medication misadventure for patients transitioning between hospital and the community. Collaboration between General Practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists is imperative in order to utilize the HMR service more effectively.

To identify the enablers and barriers of HMRs in a cluster of rural communities, with the aim of improving HMR utilization for patients when discharging from hospital.

This phenomenological qualitative study explored GP and Community Pharmacist (CP) awareness, experiences and perceptions of enablers and barriers to using HMRs. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 CPs and 9 GPs identified through clinical and community networks. The rationale for inclusion of two participant groups was to derive variant perspectives of HMR utilization. Transcribing and thematic data analysis were undertaken to recognize issues and possible improvement strategies.

Four themes were identified: Benefits and value of HMRs, barriers limiting uptake, strategies for improving HMR process and a hospital-initiated HMR referral pathway model. Perspectives were categorized into GP-related, Pharmacist-related and patient-related. All participants acknowledged the main beneficial roles of HMRs were medication rationalization and patient education. The current HMR system itself was noted as a major barrier. Improvement strategies identified included having a simplified, streamlined referral process and better promotion of accredited pharmacists in the community.

The identified enablers and barriers with the current HMR system gives better understanding into the issues that need addressing to improve HMR uptake.


Biography:

Eunice Fu is a clinical pharmacist at Atherton Hospital in Queensland, with a background in community pharmacy. Her research interests lie in community engagement, clinical practices and service delivery to close the gap between hospital and community health services, especially from a rural and remote perspective. As a pharmacist, she is a firm believer in advocating patient-centered care through open communication and collaboration with different health professionals to ensure long-term service sustainability. Eunice is a graduate of the University of Queensland and is currently undertaking postgraduate studies at James Cook University under the Allied Health Rural Generalist Training Program.