Successful interprofessional communication cannot be left to chance

Following a successful event in 2017 the Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom, AO Distinguished Lecture Series returned to Canberra on Tuesday 27 November 2018. APC past president, Professor Debra Rowett, highlighted the importance of interprofessional communication in practice, policy and education to improve the patient journey and optimise the outcomes from medicines.

Health systems around the world are changing to address a number of existing challenges in providing effective, timely, value-based care now and into the future, with team-based care a key component.

“The increasing array of diagnostic tests, complexity of illnesses, multimorbidity, interventions and care options combined with the number of health carers and organisations involved can make it difficult for patients and providers of care to negotiate the health care system,” Professor Rowett said.

“The longitudinal care required for an ageing population and those living with chronic disease requires consideration of effective oral and technology enabled communication between health care team members, their patients and their carers and families.

“Successful interprofessional communication cannot be left to chance. It is a skill that needs to have the same amount of investment we’ve put into communication with our patients,” she said.

Debra has spent a lot of her years working with her medical and pharmacy colleagues developing academic detailing training at a national and international level. Debra has also successfully introduced interprofessional communication training, in the intern training program in South Australia and post graduate programs at the University of Queensland. Debra says that training in interprofessional communication needs to be embedded into pharmacy education.

“We need to prepare the pharmacists of tomorrow to not only be competent and the best in their field, but to be collectively competent – we need both for successful healthcare teams.” Professor Rowett said.

Professor Debra Rowett is Discipline Leader: External Relations School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at the University of South Australia and Director of the Drug and Therapeutics Information Service (DATIS), Southern Adelaide Local Health Network.

She has been at the forefront of academic detailing training and implementation in Australia and is a member of the national Drug Utilisation SubCommittee of the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). Debra is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland and has published widely.

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