Ballarat Health Services to offer cardiology pharmacist clinic by telehealth

Ballarat Health Services (BHS) is about to open a new cardiology pharmacist outpatients clinic delivered by telehealth to patients living with heart disease in the Grampians region of Victoria.

Dubbed the TOPCare Cardiology clinic, it will allow patients to discuss their medicines and their response to therapy with a pharmacist, who will then create a summary of their current medicines that the cardiologist can consult before the patient's next appointment.

BHS will use its existing telehealth platform, Healthdirect’s Web-RTC-enabled Video Call, for the service. The medicines summary will be written as an eForm and uploaded to BHS's BOSSnet digital medical record, where it can be viewed by the specialist.

The idea is that cardiologist will spend less time gathering medicines information during appointments and more time focusing on therapy. It is also expected to benefit patients, who will be able to learn more about their medicines in a one-on-one consultation with a pharmacist.

BHS cardiologist Dinesh Natarajan said the new service would help patients understand their medicines better.

“Often in appointments patients are unable to describe what medicines they are taking and how often,” Dr Natarajan said in a statement. “The benefits of the pharmacist collecting this information before their appointment are enormous. I can spend much more time making sure that the medicines are working as well as they can for that patient.”

Local GPs may also become involved in the service, a BHS spokesperson said. “In collaboration with the Ballarat Health Services General Practice Liaison Unit, the project team have been consulting with local GPs about what information from the patient’s cardiology pharmacist clinic appointment would be of most value to a GP and the best method to communicate this.

“This work is ongoing to ensure that the communication improves the quality of care for patients and meets the expectations of GPs.”

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has funded the 12-month project, which is titled Telehealth in Optimising Patient Care in Outpatient Cardiology Specialist Clinic (TOPCare Cardiology).

It is due to begin next month and the BHS team says similar medicines review services could be adopted in the future by other specialist clinics.

Pictured is BHS cardiologist research pharmacist Adam Livori. Picture courtesy BHS.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: Telehealth, Healthdirect, Ballarat Base Hospital, Ballarat Health Services

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