Clin­i­cal chemist joins hub

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By PET­RICE TARRANT

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:

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