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The November Stethoscope: Latest Australian Health News

November 3, 2020 0 Comments

Gorilla Jobs rounded up the latest health news for GPs, pharmacists and other health professionals in Australia. Find out more news about E-Scripts, Medicinal Cannabis and Alternative Therapies. 

Many healthcare services provided to patients are interconnected between doctors and other professionals. When new research or issues in society demand for changes in how things were done previously, it is important to be aware of how it may affect the services moving forward. 

Latest Australian Health News

E-script Rollout

In what some are calling a “medical revolution” in health news, Sydney pharmacists are leading the way in one of the biggest shake-ups to hit the Pharmacy sector in decades.

As society more generally moves towards tech-related solutions to improve how we live, work and run our businesses, pharmacists have put themselves front and centre of this digital wave. 

And the new way of living that a global pandemic has also made us adopt means many businesses or industries have grasped the opportunity to change the way they work even sooner than they might have otherwise.

Scripts have long been the essential tool of the pharmacy trade, so it makes sense that these would be at the forefront of the digital evolution of how pharmacies operate.

Gorilla Jobs Blog Australian Health News QR Code On Phone Screen

E-scripts are the solution, potentially making the entire process from GP consultation to final dispensing more streamlined, uncomplicated and COVID-safe. Patients can now get a QR code version of their paper script sent to their smartphone, meaning telehealth appointments for simple things like scripts could free up valuable time for both GPs and patients. This code then is presented at a pharmacy to have the medication dispensed.

One thing to note – e-scripts are still in the rollout stage, so health professionals wanting to use them with their patients should encourage patients to check first that their local pharmacy is set up to work with e-scripts.

More Moves on Medicinal Cannabis and Cancer Treatment

A landmark trial that is welcome health news for those dealing with cancer has revealed medicinal cannabis relieves chemotherapy side effects.

The placebo-controlled trial of 80 patients was run at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse hospital, with the results showing a dramatic improvement in managing certain aspects of chemo.

Associate Professor Peter Grimison, a medical oncologist at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, reported that control of nausea and vomiting had improved from 14 to 25 per cent.

While around one-third of the patients involved did experience some drowsiness and disorientation, the accompanying reduction in nausea and vomiting was more than enough of a patient outcome pay-off to offset this.

Given that in 2021 some low-dose CBD medications are being rescheduled to Schedule 3 drugs, meaning they can be sold as over-the-counter medications, as more trials yield promising results for uses of medicinal cannabis, we can expect to hear a lot more about its potential applications.

Gorilla Jobs Blog Australian Health News Purple Petal Green Flower In Bowl With Pestle

Alternative Therapies for Agitation and Aggression Prove Promising

While pharmacologic treatments are useful and at-times necessary to manage a range of conditions, Canadian researchers have collated a range of studies to assess how alternate therapies, such as music and touch therapy, particularly in dementia patients, fare.

A recent major health news finding was that massage, touch and music therapy all performed better than drug treatments in managing dementia symptoms. While a cost analysis was not done, researchers noted that a move to other non-pharmacologic treatments need not be expensive given it could be a mix of professional care and simple things like someone’s family being more available to undertake simple physical activities with patients.

What this means for both patients and healthcare professionals is that finding more of a middle path between the use of antipsychotics and looking to allied – such as physiotherapists, osteopaths and myotherapists – for solutions could unlock a new model for providing better patient outcomes and specifically improving the aged-care experience.

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