Debra Rowett is the Director of the Drug and Therapeutics Information Service (DATIS), Repatriation General Hospital and Discipline Leader: External Relations School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at the University of South Australia. Debra is the President of the Australian Pharmacy Council and is currently the Lead for the Health Professions Accreditation Councils Forum Working Group developing cross professional Accreditation Standards for Prescribing. Debra is a member of the national Drug Utilisation SubCommittee of the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and has worked extensively in the area of quality use of medicines, inter-professional practice, health policy and workforce development. Debra is the regional manager for delivery of NPS services in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Debra is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland.
Practice is rapidly changing, people are becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent, the medicines we use are changing from small to large molecules heralding a change to personalised medicine, and metadata is already the norm being collected from the transactions we make, to the clothes we wear, to the social interactions we share. We know the demographics of our society are changing and that globally chronic disease and multimorbidity are increasing and that all these changes will have far reaching consequences not only at an individual level but also for society more generally. Advanced practice is about envisioning, researching and implementing practice change to maximise the outcomes from medicines and minimise the harms in this changing world – as stated in the APPF statement – advanced pharmacy practice is a commitment to the sustained pursuit of excellence. In practice it means striving to be the best pharmacist you can be going beyond the current status quo, embracing diversity and looking for innovative ways to improve the health of the patients we serve. One of the great challenges of evidence based practice – is to not only reduce the evidence to practice gap but to do so in a timely manner that represents value to both individuals and society more broadly. It is a time to think about pharmacists can make the greatest difference in improving health outcomes, how to contribute even more effectively along the continuum of care and adjust to the changes in how health care will be provided in the future to deliver on the mandate of patient-centred care. In practice it means working with other health professionals in a range of practice settings and working to the full scope of practice and innovating within expanding professional boundaries. Advanced practice pharmacists’ competencies and capabilities will need to be diverse and will for example encompass increasingly public health, health and epidemiological data analysis, interprofessional communication and behavioural change motivation, high level ability to synthesise the best available evidence and integrate this into clinical practice.