Capital & Coast was one of the district health boards (DHBs) that used Let’s PLAN for better care pharmacy week to have a stall on behalf of reducing harm from high-risk medicines, the just-finished six-month focus of the Open for better care patient safety campaign.
The week, supported by the Pharmaceutical Society and the Pharmacy Guild, was a promotion for hospital and community pharmacies to highlight the valuable advice they can provide patients.
It was an extension of the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s Let’s PLAN for better care health literacy approach – which includes an A4 tear-off sheet available for distribution to help patients plan for their next health care visit and consider questions they may want to ask their pharmacist about their medicine.
Capital & Coast’s stall in the main atrium of Wellington Hospital was operated by pharmacy interns Holly Hayne, left, and Francesca Au, under the guidance of education and training pharmacist Kathryn Marsh and medication safety pharmacist Janice Young.
Holly and Francesca took the opportunity to approach patients to ask what they knew about medicines, and encouraged them to read copies of the Commission brochure Taking Your Medicine Safely along with Open information sheets about high-risk medicines insulin, warfarin and methotrexate.
The DHB is now looking at promoting these and other Open medicine information sheets and resources as part of a future campaign it is planning.
As well as distributing Open’s medication safety quiz during the week, the DHB ran its own, focusing on key areas from a prescribing audit.
It also displayed Open’s ‘Communicating so people will understand’ poster in all the hospital’s inpatient areas.
‘Studies show patient outcomes are improved when they adhere to their prescriptions,’ says Holly, ‘so it’s important they understand their medicines, what they are, and how they work.’