Quality Use of Medicines Maximised for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (QUMAX)

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Ongoing collaboration with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (The Guild) and the Department of Health under the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA) continued in 2014 to deliver the Quality Use of Medicines Maximised for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (QUMAX) Programme to 76 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs).

Download 2016 QUMAX Report

Input in to the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) occurred throughout 2014 and NACCHO attended meetings and Stakeholder Engagement Forums with the Department of Health and The Guild. The 6CPA was signed by the Minister of Health, the Honourable Sussan Ley MP on 24 May 2015.

The QUMAX Programme aims to improve health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who attend a participating ACCHOs in rural and urban Australia, by providing support categories to improve quality use of medicines and adherence. QUMAX enables improved access to medicines under the PBS by addressing cultural, transport and other barriers to access. As a result of 76 ACCHOs participating in the Programme, this enabled a client reach of 218,549 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in 2014-2015.

A large number of these ACCHOs engaged in Quality Use of Medicines Education Sessions and Home Medicine Review Awareness Sessions to raise their clients’ awareness of the quality use of medicines and programmes that support medication adherence. In addition to raising staff and client awareness of the adverse e ects of non-compliance of medications, the QUMAX Programme provided devices to support quality use of medicine particularly for clients living with chronic disease, such as Diabetes and Asthma.

Njernda Aboriginal Women’s & Children’s Health Centre expanded their QUMAX Work plan during a mid-year review to increase their client awareness and uptake of a Home Medicine Review. Incentives under the QUMAX Guidelines resulted in 15 HMRs taking place within a six month timeframe where HMRs had previously not been reported. An HMR is referred by a GP and conducted by an accredited Pharmacist. Clients are supported by health care workers and carers during a review of medications that occurs in their home and aims to ensure quality use of medicines minimising adverse reactions and medication safety in the home.

Under the QUMAX Programme, Dose Administration Aids (DAA), such as a webster pack or blister pack for medicines, supported, ACCHOs’ capacity to provide DAAs to their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients as well as the capability to ensure clients are taking medication at the required dosage. This provision of DAAs assists towards Closing the Gap via appropriate medication dosage and adherence. DAAs are provided by community pharmacies under a DAA Contract or Flexible Funding, the QUMAX Programme also provides a Cultural Awareness Category to provide training to Pharmacists and their staff to ensure cultural safety. The combination of DAA agreements and Flexible Funding provision of DAAs coupled with the opportunity for Cultural Awareness training, reduces strengthens the community and cultural barriers for ACCHO clients and staff.

NACCHO continues to work towards ensuring the QUMAX Programme, and quality use of medicine support to ACCHOs will continue throughout the 6CPA. A QUMAX Report Card is being developed for launch in the 2015-2016 financial year to highlight the 5CPA data, outcomes and cost effectiveness of the QUMAX Programme towards Closing the Gap in Australia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.