A review of the medication pathway in rural Queensland, Australia

Tan, Amy Chen Wee, Emmerton, Lynne and Hattingh, Hendrik Laetitia (2012) A review of the medication pathway in rural Queensland, Australia. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 20 5: 324-339. doi:10.1111/j.2042-7174.2012.00193.x

Author Tan, Amy Chen Wee
Emmerton, Lynne
Hattingh, Hendrik Laetitia
Title A review of the medication pathway in rural Queensland, Australia
Journal name International Journal of Pharmacy Practice   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0961-7671
Publication date 2012-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.2042-7174.2012.00193.x
Volume 20
Issue 5
Start page 324
End page 339
Total pages 16
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives  It is well established that rural areas have compromised access to health services, including medication services. This paper reviews the practice developments for rural health professionals in relation to medication processes, with a focus on regulatory provisions in Queensland, Australia, and a view to identifying opportunities for enhanced pharmacy involvement.

Literature referring to ‘medication/medicine’, ‘rural/remote’, ‘Australia’ and ‘pharmacy/pharmacist/pharmaceutical’ was identified via EBSCOhost, Ovid, Informit, Pubmed, Embase and The Cochrane Library. Australian Government reports and conference proceedings were sourced from relevant websites. Legislative and policy documents reviewed include drugs and poisons legislation, the National Medicines Policy and the Australian Pharmaceutical Advisory Council guidelines.

Key findings  The following developments enhance access to medication services in rural Queensland: (1) endorsement of various non-medical prescribers, (2) authorisation of registered nurses, midwives, paramedics and Indigenous health workers to supply medications in sites without pharmacists, (3) skill-mixing of nursing staff in rural areas to ease medication administration tasks, (4) establishment of pharmacist-mediated medication review services, (5) electronic transfer of medical orders or prescriptions and (6) enhanced transfer of medication information between metropolitan and rural, and public and private facilities.

Conclusions  This review identified a divide between medication access and medication management services. Initiatives aiming to improve supply of (access to) medications focus on scopes of practice and endorsements for non-pharmacist rural healthcare providers. Medication management remains the domain of pharmacists, and is less well addressed by current initiatives. Pharmacists' involvement in rural communities could be enhanced through tele-pharmacy, outreach support and sessional support.
Keyword Legislation
Quality use of medicines
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Early View - Article first published online: 8 MAR 2012

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Pharmacy Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 27 Aug 2012, 11:42:05 EST by Myrtle Sahabandu on behalf of School of Pharmacy