PSA’s principled plea

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has released clinical governance principles that champion the design and implementation of safe and high quality pharmacy services.

‘Clinical Governance Principles for Pharmacy Services 2018’ give pharmacists and organisations involved in the provision of pharmacy services guidance to improve safety, quality and consistency of new and existing services in healthcare delivery.

The principles describe aspects of design and delivery vital to providing high quality pharmacist care for all Australians and build on work undertaken by the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care.

PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman says clinical governance is a key mechanism to reduce the harms caused by medicine misuse.

“We have a high quality health system in Australia and a high-quality pharmacy profession providing valued care to their communities and patients, but there are still unacceptable variations in health outcomes,” he said.

“PSA’s ‘Medicine Safety: Take Care’ report found that 250,000 people are admitted to hospital each year because of medicine-related problems, at a cost of $1.4 billion. At least half of this harm is preventable.

“Pharmacists are the key to improving the safety and quality use of medicines but, while all pharmacy services have a degree of quality management and governance, the formal application of clinical governance varies considerably.

“These principles released by the PSA will help guide service design which provides reassurance as to the safety and quality of the services pharmacists provide and can be applied by pharmacists in all settings, whether in community or hospital pharmacy, general practice or aged care.

“All the principles described in the document are essential to safe and effective care. The principles are not auditable accreditation criteria but can be used to help identify safety and quality gaps when designing, monitoring and evaluating pharmacy services.

“These principles will also help to inform future high quality services to be funded in the upcoming Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement negotiations and beyond.

“I encourage pharmacists and all those involved in the management and design of pharmacy services to embrace these principles, reflect on them and continuously work towards them to ensure they provide the best possible care to patients.”

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