Non-dispensing pharmacist a welcome addition to 360 Street Doctor

To help 360 Street Doctor provide its much-needed service, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) funded the placement of a non-dispensing pharmacist as part of the Comprehensive Primary Care Program.

360 Street Doctor is a mobile GP service that provides primary care from a purpose-built clinical truck to vulnerable people who might be street present or experiencing homelessness. 360 Street Doctor’s patients often lead chaotic lives with family, cultural responsibilities and social circumstances taking priority over their own healthcare.

Lisa Winter from 360 Street Doctor said the addition of the pharmacist to the team had an immediate and positive influence on their clinics.

“Kate was a welcome addition to the consulting team, contributing to improved compliance and health outcomes for each client. For example, suggesting alternative treatments for acute ailments that require less doses for people sleeping rough, increased the likelihood of completed treatments before medications were lost or stolen,” she said.

As 360 Street Doctor’s non-dispensing pharmacist, Kate also contributed to the chronic disease management of regular patients by ensuring continuity of care post hospitalisation, picking up and resolving hospital discharge errors, and improving medication reconciliation.

“Kate was able to sit with clients while they waited for the GP and assess their barriers and challenges to taking and understanding treatments. She also provided education without the time pressures faced by the GP. Often by the time a client was seen by the GP, Kate had already reconciled medications, highlighted any issues with medication compliance and suggested alternatives to improve compliance and understanding,” Ms Winter said.

In addition, Kate worked with 360 Street Doctor’s Aboriginal Health Practitioner to deliver culturally appropriate education sessions on the COVID-19 vaccines to patients who were unsure about getting vaccinated because of negative publicity in the mainstream media.

As a result of Kate’s successful placement as a non-dispensing pharmacist, 360 Street Doctor has successfully sourced further funding to employ her within the team.

“Kate has seamlessly integrated into the 360 Street Doctor team, making significant improvements to our processes, care coordination, management and planning, and ultimately patient outcomes. Her flexibility to adjust her professional practice to a unique, non-traditional setting and adapt to an outdoor outreach work environment, whilst supporting innovative, appropriate healthcare to the unique circumstances of our client group make Kate a valuable addition to our team,” Ms Winter said.

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