Reflecting on ConPharm 2022

ConPharm website image

PDL representatives Gilbert Yeates (Qld Director) and Gary West (Professional Officer and Qld Local Advisory Committee Chair) were pleased to attend ConPharm 2022 at Sea World Resort and speak with many accredited pharmacists.

As expected, these highly engaged pharmacists had many questions for the PDL representatives, and we believe it’s helpful to share some of the common questions and responses. Several attendees asked if PDL receives many reports of incidents, complaints to regulators or claims for compensation involving accredited pharmacist activities.

Thankfully, the number of PDL reports involving practice as an accredited pharmacist is very small. This may be due to the experience and consideration applied by accredited pharmacists combined with the time available to reflect on a situation and develop an evidence-based response. The small number of reports have mainly involved the following areas of practice – and PDL believes these insights are valuable for accredited pharmacists.

1. Data security and privacy: failure or loss of laptops and/or removable hard drives containing patient information with an inability to retrieve the data. The complete loss of records means a lack of compliance with record keeping requirements. It also makes it difficult to report the data breach as legislated and inform those patients of the loss of their data.

2. Consent and record keeping: failure to either seek informed consent or to document that consent was provided. PDL has experience with cases where family members are concerned about the attendance of a pharmacist for a HMR and the personal information collected by the pharmacist.

3. Oversight and protection of accreditation status to prevent misuse of accredited pharmacists’ details: rare cases of non-accredited pharmacists submitting reports or claims under the name of an accredited pharmacist. Ensure the security and protection of documents and undertake checks to ensure claims are not being falsely made by another person.

4. Health consequences for a patient recently reviewed by an accredited pharmacist: PDL is aware of situations where a recommendation has been made and the patient has had a decline in health shortly after review and changes to medication. Good documentation is vital in case of a claim in these situations and PDL encourages accredited pharmacists to ensure all advice is linked with evidence-based guidelines and references.

The PDL Pharmacists Liabilities Master Policy provides cover for all pharmacy professional services as permitted by Ahpra together with relevant state and federal regulatory and legislative requirements, subject to any specific policy Terms, Conditions and Exclusions.

The cover by the policy afforded therefore extends to pharmacists undertaking HMRs, RMMRs and QUM reviews and Credentialled Diabetes Educators (CDE) regardless of their practice setting e.g. aged care facility (ACF), GP clinic or via telehealth. The pharmacist must also have suitable training, qualifications and experience to demonstrate competence in these areas of practice.

PDL looks forward to working with accredited pharmacists to ensure policy cover and risk management advice is available to those interested in working as an embedded pharmacist in ACFs under the recently announced Commonwealth Health program, due to start on 1 January 2023.

For immediate advice and incident support, call PDL on 1300 854 838 to speak with one of our Professional Officers. We are here to support our pharmacist members 24/7, Australia-wide.