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Award-winning continuity of care

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15 November 2012

© Nolte Lourens | Dreamstime.com
One in five patients experience a medication error during the transfer from hospital to residential care. © Nolte Lourens | Dreamstime.com

Clinical practitioner, researcher and educator, Rohan Elliott, has been awarded the prestigious GlaxoSmithKline Medal of Merit.

Awarded annually by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), and sponsored by major pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, the Medal of Merit is considered one of the most prestigious industry awards, recognising outstanding contributions to the practice of hospital pharmacy.

Rohan Elliott of Monash University's Centre for Medicine Use and Safety (CMUS) and Austin Health has a long history of collaborative research in aged care, highlighted by the recent MedGap project, of which he was the principal investigator and driving force.

MedGap was developed by a team at CMUS and hospital partners to make the transfer of elderly patients from hospital to residential care facilities safer.

Mr Elliott led the development after an audit found that one in five patients experienced a medication error during the transfer from hospital to residential care.

MedGap addressed this problem by having the hospital pharmacist prepare interimresidential care medication charts prior to discharge, allowing patients' drug regimes to continue uninterrupted. The interim chart provides additional information, such as the time of the last dose of each medication in hospital.

The MedGap project won the Victorian Public Healthcare Award: Excellence in Service Provision 2011.

Mr Elliott is a fellow of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia and has been an active member for more than 20 years. He is a member of the editorial board of the Geriatric Therapeutics section of the Society’s Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

His expertise is valued as a reviewer for the Australian Medicines Handbook Aged Care Companion, as a peerreviewer for a number of significant scientific journals and he has published and presented his work here in Australia and overseas.

"Being recognised by my peers in this way is a great honour for me personally, but it is also recognition for the work done by CMUS and the Austin Health Pharmacy Department in the area of aged care pharmacy practice," Mr Elliott said.

"Certainly I could not have done the projects that contributed to this award without the support and assistance of my collaborators and colleagues."