Wellbeing, funding and sustainability in focus as Pharmacy  Forecast Australia surges forward

Wellbeing, funding and sustainability in focus as Pharmacy Forecast Australia surges forward

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA)’s annual thought leadership report Pharmacy Forecast Australia 2022 is building momentum in its second year, expanding to 43 recommendations on the future of Hospital Pharmacy and featuring new themes around wellbeing, funding and sustainability as the country emerges from the worst stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shaped by the expertise and insight of 116 leading practitioners covering every state and territory, Pharmacy Forecast Australia 2022 supports Hospital Pharmacy departments to proactively position themselves and their teams ahead of potential future events and emergent trends, in their mission to provide optimal care for patients, advance the broader pharmacy profession and ensure the sustainability of Australia’s healthcare system.

Developed under the auspices of the Pharmacy Forecast Advisory Committee and released today by SHPA, Pharmacy Forecast Australia 2022 pairs the nationwide state-of-play with current evidence to build 43 recommendations, among them encouragement for pharmacy leaders to:

  • Diversify pharmacy leadership demographics.
  • Overcome barriers to pharmacist specialisation and unify pharmacy technician credentialing.
  • Support environmental sustainability champions, comprehensive pharmaceutical waste programs, and consideration of sustainability in pharmaceutical contracts and supply choices.
  • Plan ahead for the growing presence of deprescribing, pharmacogenetics and emerging care models.
  • Strengthen cybersecurity, embrace virtual care delivery and foster tech-savvy teams.
  • Advocate for closing gaps in nationwide Pharmaceutical Reform Agreements.
  • Adopt pharmacist-to-bed ratios and ease inequity through statewide formularies.
  • Focus training for leaders on fostering supportive culture; build appreciation for individual stressors and mental health and wellbeing needs.

SHPA President Peter Fowler says today’s virtual launch – attended by parliamentarians, policymakers, medical, pharmacy, nursing, allied health and consumer stakeholders and SHPA members – builds on a successful inaugural year in 2021.

Pharmacy Forecast Australia hones in on trends and phenomena anticipated to impact pharmacy practice and the health of Australian patients to 2027, utilising the ‘wisdom of crowds’ methodology as first adapted in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP) Pharmacy Forecast, and we thank our American friends for their ongoing partnership.

‘Hospital Pharmacists and Technicians are integrated into care teams, wrapped around Australia’s most acutely unwell, and innovation is in our blood. We’re pleased to provide this platform and it’s fantastic to see Forecast continue to resonate as a tool of effective and patient-focused strategic planning.

‘This year we again thank the like-minded organisations who have provided “partner perspectives” to further contextualise the recommendations in themes of aligned interest.’

This year’s Partner Perspectives were provided by:

  • Climate and Health Alliance (Theme 1: Environmental Sustainability)
  • National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) (Theme 2: Future Workforce)
  • Australian Medical Association (AMA) (Theme 3: Patient-centred Care)
  • Australian Digital Health Agency (Theme 4: Technology)
  • Pharmacists’ Support Services (Theme 6: Workforce Wellbeing)

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the Forecast reflects an emergent energy following two years of pandemic outbreaks, widespread lockdowns and resulting stress, fatigue and burnout.

‘Hospital Pharmacists are already Australia’s captains of medicines, managing almost one quarter or $3 billion of annual Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) expenditure.

‘COVID-19 showed this importance only grows in periods of health crisis, and we’re determined to look to the future while learning the lessons of the recent past. This includes ensuring the health and wellbeing of our health professionals is upheld with the same importance as the outcomes of the patients in their care.

‘At the same time, research continues to build showing Hospital Pharmacist-led medication management services can reduce hospital readmission rates and medication-related hospital admissions, and SHPA will utilise the crowd-sourced wisdom of the independent Forecast authors to continuing advocating for a more sustainable, expert workforce, present wherever there is medicines risk.’

In his opening remarks at the launch Pharmacy Forecast Advisory Committee Chair Russell Levy thanked his fellow Committee members and all contributing authors.

‘On behalf of the SHPA membership and our broader profession, I thank our Pharmacy Forecast Australia 2022 Theme Leads for their time and contributions, particularly in such a challenging year.

‘I hope all opinions and recommendations are discussed and debated in the spirit of our new Forecast tradition, in the interests of sharing information and ideas to improve medicines safety and patient care for all Australians.’

Omnicell Commercial Director ANZ David Dutka says the forward looking role of the Pharmacy Forecast goes hand-in-hand with Omnicell being a world leader in pharmacy solutions.

‘The Pharmacy Forecast is about trying to better understand the future shape of Pharmacy and that’s a natural fit with Omnicell’s focus on using world class technology to improve patient safety and efficiency.’

Omnicell is SHPA’s Pharmacy Forecast Australia partner.