SHPA recognises contribution of health professionals to elderly

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) celebrated the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October 2020.

It hailed the day as an opportunity to recognise the contribution of the elderly to Australian society and the health professionals who deliver the care and dignity older people deserve.

SHPA Geriatric Medicine Co-Chair Gauri Godbole comments that maintaining and improving the health of older persons is critically important.

The day of recognition came after SHPA recently released the Geriatric Medicine practice pathway for pharmacy residents and revised standards of practice for the optimal pharmacy care of older patients.

The SHPA’s Standard of practice in geriatric medicine for pharmacy services underscores the need for pharmacists with specific geriatric medicine expertise to work as part of interdisciplinary teams to improve the safety and quality of care for older Australians in hospitals, residential aged care facilities and in the community.

“SHPA is also driving efforts to expand this knowledge earlier in the careers of hospital pharmacists, with Geriatric Medicine embedded as one of the four initial practice pathways of SHPA Advanced Training Residencies, with an accompanying knowledge guide that is cognizant of the different practice settings in which pharmacists may be providing care for older persons,” Ms Godbole says.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the importance of optimal medicines management in this more vulnerable cohort is driving numerous strategic investments to enhance practitioner education and improve patient care.

“Research shows up to 30% of hospital admissions of people aged 65 years and over are medication-related and approximately half of these could be prevented,” Ms Michaels says.