27 Jun 2018 | Primary Care
Unichem Russell Street, a community pharmacy in Hastings, is one of the successful applicants for Whakakotahi 2018 – the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s primary care quality improvement challenge.
Childhood respiratory diseases cause a disproportionate burden of disease for the most vulnerable children in Hawke’s Bay with high rates of ambulatory sensitive hospitalisation (ASH) for children 0–4 years of age. This is a particular issue for Māori and Pacific children or those living in NZ deprivation index quintiles 4 and 5 due to higher smoking rates (than NZ average) and housing issues.
Lead pharmacist Alex Chan says respiratory illness in children is often due to many different factors and multiple interventions may be needed to help in reducing potential hospitalisations.
'Community pharmacists are well placed to intervene because they are often the first port of call.'
Unichem Russell Street works closely with the adjacent general practice, The Doctors Hastings Medical Centre. The practice has around 10,000 enrolled patients with over 2,000 under 13 years old. The two organisations share patient health records and are not only geographically integrated but also work closely together to integrate patient care.
The project will focus on carrying out a brief respiratory intervention for children and their whanāu/families who present either with prescriptions for oral corticosteroids who have a diagnosis of asthma, or those who are seeking over the counter products for respiratory illnesses.
Mr Chan says they will test a variety of interventions.
‘There are number of things that we can do such as give smoking cessation advice, complete a healthy home checklist, see if an asthma action plan is in place and understood, checking if the patient is on a steroid preventer inhaler, reviewing the patient’s inhaler technique and checking if other family members also have asthma.’