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Regional Manager - Vic East
Mary Mickael knows a thing or two about a holistic approach in patients’ care and its rewards.
As Regional Manager, Vic East for Ward MM, Mary still sees a number of aged care residents and patients living in the community whose lives have changed for the better thanks to her respectful intervention and compassionate care.
‘In one situation, a man faced years of travel restrictions due to persistently low white blood cell count’ Mary recalls.
‘He was treated by multiple specialists over many years to no avail. I visited the patient and conducted a Home Medication Review (HMR) and, through slow and steading conversation, he revealed he was taking health supplements he hadn’t yet disclosed – after investigation I found his blood disorder was a side effect of this supplement.
‘He enjoyed a rapid turnaround from that point on, but trust had to be built. I saw him years later and was delighted when he commented: “I’m glad that you’re watching my back”.’
Mary says this is part of a ‘3D approach’ to medication management, a journey that is walked with the patient at the centre.
‘Looking at each patient holistically is the key to providing excellent care.
‘It would be faster and easier to look only at the medication aspect and advise “let’s do this and that”, but we must ask ourselves: is the approach important for the patient? What are their primary goals?
‘After considering other important aspects of their lives, in respectful consultation – including with the GP, nurses and their families – we reach a common goal and then, and only then, can we build a care plan.’
Mary says the regular involvement of a clinical pharmacist in patients’ care plans both in community and aged care can help GPs and clinicians reveal hidden parts of the picture, in the shared effort to minimise medication harm. This becomes pivotal during COVID outbreaks not to lose our focus on chronic disease management and medication reviews.
‘A few years ago I saw a lovely older lady who lived alone, had trouble communicating and was at increased risk of falls.
‘Through our HMRs and HMR follow-ups we built trust and then a relationship, and I saw that her medication could be adding to her risk. Beyond this though, through assisting in referring her to My Aged Care, she now has a care package, greater social support and transportation so she can maintain her independence at home.
‘Our care really goes beyond medications. Just last week she called to ask if I’d join her for a cup of coffee – sometimes it barely feels like work!’Go Back