Clinical chemist joins hub
In another first for rural New Zealand a clinical pharmacist has been appointed in Tokoroa.
There are fewer than 10 clinical pharmacists operating countrywide and Tokoroa has secured one.
Helen Cant said she was extremely excited to be given the opportunity to increase the quality of care for Tokoroa’s 15,000 patients.
The new position, similar to one which has existed in Hamilton for the past two years, will be funded by the Waikato District Health Board.
It will cater for patients of all Tokoroa general practitioners.
Mrs Cant said she would be a bridge between the hospital and medical centres when it came to medication.
As the district’s medication specialist, Mrs Cant’s aim is to help patients get the best from their medications and understand them better.
The clinical pharmacist role will assist the workload of doctors and nurses by providing consultations and advice on the most effective, appropriate medication for predominantly high needs patients. Mrs Cant will ensure consistency between the information held by general
Tokoroa’s new clinical pharmacist Helen Cant, left, will be bouncing ideas off fellow Waikato clinical pharmacist Penny Clark. practitioners and hospitals for a smoother and safer transfer of patients between the two.
NorthCare clinical pharmacist Penny Clark said one of the reasons the new role was created was to decrease the number of patients admitted to hospital because of medication errors.
‘‘Most medication errors happen between transfers and even with all the best systems these mistakes are still happening,’’ she said.
The role is based on an American model which has been operating successfully for some years, Mrs Clark said.
Just two years into her role Mrs Clark has seen a huge improvement in health outcomes.
‘‘It’s about using clinical staff to their full potential.’’
Mrs Cant, who has 30 years’ experience as a pharmacist in both community pharmacies and hospitals, said she was looking forward to working as a team alongside doctors, pharmacists and all other health practitioners to build a strong reliable system.
‘‘ It’s about patient care. Patients don’t want to be admitted to hospital.’’
The success of the new model of care would rely on healthy collaboration among all parties.
She said she was looking at moving to the forestry town in order to get to know it.
The move was more of a return for her husband who was a teacher in Putaruru for 10 years.
To start, patients would be referred to Mrs Cant by general practitioners but there could be the chance for self-referral in the future.
Leading the way: