Producing a 'cover of covers' for this issue (No 4, 2021), Rob McDonald, SHPA Member Experience Manager has again captured the energy and passion for the profession.
Online ISSN: 2208-245X
Print ISSN: 2208-3612
In this Section
In Spring 2021, members explore how pharmacists, as natural 'systems thinkers', are uniquely positioned to drive change in the health care system. This issue discusses how, long accustomed to doing the most with the least in busy and cost-constrained environments, hospital pharmacists are used to navigating complex processes and hierarchies to achieve what they need for their patients.
A white-hot molten core embodies the dazzling intensity of the hospital pharmacy profession, shining at the centre of the biggest public health challenge in a century: the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. In a special double issue, members share their stories from the frontline of large state and territory run clinics to tiny outreach programs, from Perth to Melbourne and Kangaroo Island to the Gold Coast, reporting stress and strength, inundation and ingenuity, trials and, above all, teamwork.
A nervous optimism greets the new year and the Summer 2020-21 issue cover evokes the progress of time at an historic moment. As upheaval gives way to hope and promise, on the ground SHPA members look back while looking forward; from Emergency Medicine pharmacists traversing changes to staffing, stock, layout and clinical roles, to new approaches to preventing burn-out, the issue explored how to let go of poor practices and hold on to innovations forged in the crucible of 2020.
The blood-red of the Spring 2020 issue brings together the person and the practice; blending pharmacy (medicine) and the pharmacist (fingerprint) as a reminder that the human experience is intrinsic to the function of the profession, and the delivery of patient care. As life amid COVID-19 continues, members explore the vulnerability of frontline healthcare workers under strain, and the benefits of mindfulness in pharmacy practice.
By Winter, COVID-19 in Australia has a steady but uncertain rhythm and is embedded in our everyday collective consciousness. The cover’s coffee table spread shows this new reality, as features explored business as (un)usual on two concurrent paths: one focused on daily case counts, new clinical information on coronavirus and the ongoing battle to identify, contain and suppress outbreaks, and the other addressing other issues and opportunities in hospital pharmacy that remained just as relevant as they were before the pandemic shadow arose.
By Winter (No 2, 2020), COVID-19 in Australia had a steady but uncertain rhythm and was embedded in our everyday collective consciousness. The cover's coffee table spread showed this new reality, as features explored business as (un)usual on two concurrent paths: one focused on daily case counts, new clinical information on coronavirus and the ongoing battle to identify, contain and suppress outbreaks, and the other addressing other issues and opportunities in hospital pharmacy that remained just as relevant as they were before the pandemic shadow arose.
Almost hidden amid a low contrast cover, the Summer 2019-20 issue of GRIT asks readers to consider ‘what we can’t see’. Given much-needed airtime to ‘invisible’ diseases, members describe challenging stigma to improve care, with features on the building epidemic mental illness, equipping people with take-home naloxone, introducing discussions about alcohol and one pharmacist’s hidden but excruciating experience of ulcerative colitis.
After Medication Safety was declared Australia’s next National Health Priority Area by Health Minister Greg Hunt, Pharmacy GRIT explores the impact of maintaining balance in pharmacy practice and patient care. Every day hospital pharmacists walk a tightrope – judging the potential risks and rewards of intervention – and articles examined harm from antimicrobials, pregabalin and opioids, policy perspectives on the complexity of medicines, and a mother’s journey from a tragic medication error to becoming an international safety advocate.
Released the week before SHPA’s Medication Leadership Forum on the same topic, the Winter 2019 issue explores many facets of transitions of care, leading with the proposition that the entire medicines management pathway – from admission to, and discharge from hospital – needs to be scrutinised if we are to ensure safer transitions for hospital patients. Behind a stark hospital-home split screen, members explore other ‘transitions’, including an innovative outpatient antenatal pharmacist advice clinic supporting the transition into motherhood, and the advent of immunotherapies, which represent an enormous transition toward less harmful treatments.
Welcoming the 3rd volume of Pharmacy GRIT is was the soothing sight of green leaves and a focus sustainability. Rising above partisan debate, SHPA members inspire the profession to take responsibility for its environmental impact, demonstrating the myriad ways pharmacy services interact with and rely on the natural world around us. Features also dig deeper into sustainability as a concept, exploring professional burnout as an equally pressing issue, and how managers and innovators can take their teams on a successful sustainability journey.
Given what has transpired across the world in 2020-21, it is bittersweet to reflect on the optimistic realism of the Summer 2018-19 cover that asks ‘Are we ready?’ for three growing healthcare challenges of an ageing population, obesity and diabetes. Nonetheless, the issue is a powerhouse, exploring demographic change through the lens of Port Macquarie (NSW), the obesity crisis through a critique of the ubiquitous Body Mass Index and the evidence base – or lack thereof – to guide dosing calculations in larger patients, and diabetes through the state of play in insulin and challenging misunderstandings and stigma.
The Spring issue sees members sound off on the real meaning of patient-centred care. Cutting through the noise of the cover’s pop art chatter, features dug behind the My Health Record headlines, asked ‘What makes a good death?’ and explored how connection is the key to true pharmacist collaboration between the hospital and primary care. Putting our money where our mouth(s) are, we also invited patients and hospital workers to describe what they would do to improve the healthcare journey for patients, if they were in charge of the hospital for one day.
This issue of GRIT is dedicated to how curiosity and passion fuel life long learning in pharmacy practice. From interactive simulation learning to the rising roles of hospital pharmacy Residents and how curricular has changed (and stayed the same) since the 60s to the 90s and today, members showed pharmacy learning is a never-ending pursuit.
From looking forward to zooming out, the first 2018 volume of Pharmacy GRIT kicks off exploring the bigger picture of medicines shortages. With high interest from stakeholders across health care and government following SHPA’s landmark 2017 medicines shortages report, the lead feature took a macro view to see the frontline ingenuity, hear louder member voices, and understand industry perspectives.
Heading into the new year Pharmacy GRIT explores and celebrates the many ways pharmacists are working to anticipate future healthcare needs by expanding the core of pharmacy practice. The issue features automated technological solutions to rapid-response disaster relief, smarter purchasing during medicines shortages, work-place satisfaction and seven-day services, showing SHPA members at the forefront of ingenuity as our profession rapidly evolves.
In a special Spring feature GRIT headed north, encountering remarkable pharmacists and technicians transforming their practice (and themselves) in providing culturally-appropriate care. In this spirit, the cover aims to ensure readers’ first engagement with the issue was an Indigenous perspective on health care. The resulting artwork by rising artist Lorraine Kabbindi White – granddaughter (and painting student) of the late, great Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek AO – unfolds continuously over the specific ochre colour of the land of her family’s country, Mankung Djang in West Arnhem Land.
In this issue, members explore innovation at the frontline of practice. The delivery of chemotherapy at home, improvements in transitions of care between acute and primary care, radiopharmacy, accessibility to new Hepatitis C medicines, opioid stewardship and the embedding of pharmacists in General Practice provided examples of ‘thinking outside the box – even when you have to work inside it’.
Where else to begin but the power of research? The first issue of GRIT provided building block-style tips for how engaging in research, networking and forming mentor relationships can transform and solve your practice challenges. An instructional paper on writing a research paper and getting it published was the first of many member-to-member pieces that have made Pharmacy GRIT such a practical, must-read publication.