Rachael Raleigh is a Senior Clinical Pharmacist/Team Leader at the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service in Queensland. In addition to her clinical role she is currently completing a Master of Clinical Pharmacy with Monash University. The focus of her Master’s research is pharmacy assistant role redesign and she is in the final stages of formally evaluating a new inpatient unit assistant role within the Gold Coast University Hospital. From March to August 2016, Rachael led the SHPA Pharmacy Technician and Assistant Role Redesign within Australian Hospital Project.
The SHPA Redesign Project was commissioned by the SHPA Federal Council in 2016 in response to one of three key workforce transformation needs identified at the 2014/2015 Future Summits. This presentation will overview the Redesign Project as outlined by the SHPA Paper, ‘Exploring the role of hospital pharmacy technicians and assistants to enhance the delivery of patient centred care’
The aim of Redesign Project White Paper was to:
• Provide a detailed review of the current roles and influencing frameworks in Australia
• With consideration of the global context, identify key areas for development in Australia
• Consider changes required to enable development
• Provide initial options for how the SHPA can advocate for progression in Australia
In order to inform the White Paper, the project undertook a literature review, analysed current roles and supporting frameworks, completed a national survey and coordinated a series of focus groups, structured interviews and mini case studies with a variety key stakeholder representatives from across Australia.
Pharmacy technicians/assistants are employed in 95% of hospital pharmacies across Australia. Roles and responsibilities vary significantly, with Australian hospitals primarily utilising this workforce for traditional technical roles. Although there is a national education system in Australia, the education requirements are set at the state and territory level with no consistency.
Currently there is no national approach to technician/assistant utilisation with SHPA as the only national body with an interest and mandate to lead development. Hospital pharmacy departments are requesting: ‘Advocacy tools and management supports’, ‘Professional standards and competencies’, ‘quality standardised education’ and ‘resources’ to assist in technician/assistant role development.
The Redesign Project highlights areas for development of the pharmacy technician and assistant workforce in Australian hospitals. SHPA has a clear role in advocating for the advancement of this workforce and supporting their development within Australian hospital pharmacy.