New & Old Ways Our Health Care System Keeps Us Healthy

Originally published in on March 13, 2014:

There is a new initiative underway that will expand the services that pharmacists are able to provide to Canadians from coast to coast. Elements of the proposal are already underway and working well in several provinces.

9000 Points of Care is designed to expand the pharmacists’ scope of practice to include treating minor ailments and administering vaccines, renewing prescriptions and adjusting dosages.

The hope is to:
-Prevent ER visits and hospitalizations resulting from adverse drug reactions by focusing on better electronic infrastructure and resources, connectivity, and information sharing
-Free up physician hours for focus on more critical care by expanding pharmacists scope to include treating minor ailments and administering vaccines
-Reduce system costs through improved access and use of affordable medications
-Implement state-of-the-art emergency preparedness and pandemic response systems by leveraging pharmaceutical distributors; and
-Helping to manage chronic conditions more effectively

Pharmacists want to be able to better serve their patients and play a more active role in keeping Canadians healthy.

In Ontario, pharmacists complete medication reviews by using a program called MedsCheck. Pharmacists have 1:1 meetings with their patient to review that they are taking the prescriptions correctly. As you may well be aware, drug interactions and medications not taken properly can result in serious problems for the patient and adds an additional strain to our health care system.

Another practice that I am very glad to see making a comeback, is the readiness of doctors doing home visits. It may not be your own family physician who will visit but thankfully there are doctors on call services which can address a medical issue before it becomes an emergency.

During our last lengthy power outage, which was over the holidays, the walk in clinics were closed as were many doctors’ offices. Fortunately the doctor- on- call services were available. For anyone who has difficulty getting out, or when illness occurs ‘after hours’, this service can be a life saver.

-Audrey Miller

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