September 6, 2013

New COPD training and support package for pharmacies

Lung Foundation Australia is launching a new training and support program to assist pharmacists in their work with people who have COPD.

The comprehensive program including online training, webinars, access to COPD screening devices, and promotional materials for pharmacy will be available from 9 September.

Lung Foundation Australia’s Director of the COPD National Program Elizabeth Harper said a recent pilot of the online training helped improve pharmacists’ knowledge and confidence in working with people who have COPD.

“The pharmacy online training was based on our COPD Online training for nurses and has been specially adapted for pharmacists and the pharmacy setting,” Ms Harper said.

“This online training helps pharmacists to educate and motivate patients as well as encouraging them to engage in self-management,” she said.

“More than 50 pharmacists from metropolitan, regional, rural and remote communities across Australia were involved in this highly successful pilot.”

The program was developed in consultation with COPD experts, community pharmacists and peak pharmacy bodies including The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, The Australian College of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy, and The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia.

“We’re anticipating a great take up from pharmacies thanks to the support of all our partners in developing the course,” Ms Harper said.

“People who have undertaken the training loved the self-paced learning environment and found the online resources to be informative and easy to understand,” she said.

“We encourage pharmacists to take up the opportunity to become more involved in delivering a COPD service in a community pharmacy.

“Pharmacists do more for COPD patients than just dispensing their medicines.

“They can check inhaler technique, identify quality use of medicines, help people in the community to identify their risk factors and symptoms of lung disease and conduct health promotional activities.

“By participating in the COPD Pharmacy training and support program, pharmacists will increase their knowledge about COPD and their confidence to implement a COPD service in pharmacy.

“This includes working effectively with other members involved in the patient’s multi-disciplinary health care team.” 

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Participant Feedback

COPD Pharmacy Online pilot (de-identified):

‘Excellent training resource overall which helped fill in gaps in my understanding and treatment of COPD while making me aware of a way to make business cases for implementation of a COPD service.’

‘The information provided within the training was extremely useful, and I think that it was set out well. The modules were broken down into appropriate topics and made it very easy to progress from one module to the next with an increase in knowledge being built each time.’

COPD Online training for nurses (de-identified):

‘Very well developed instructional design. The content reinforced and built on my existing knowledge base. I liked the links to tools that can be used to assist with patient care. I have found that I am already using some of the strategies in my work.’

‘The training more than met my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed the program and hope other organisations may be guided by what the Lung Foundation has done and offer similar training. Thanks so much, I am now a more informed Practice Nurse!’

‘I really enjoyed the training. It was great that it was an online course as I could do it at a time suitable for me and so fitted in with my lifestyle. The information was so relevant to my workplace and each module was so interesting. I feel so much more confident to deal with patients with COPD and would love to do more courses like this.’

‘I found this training really helpful. I liked every aspect of it. It has helped me doing care plans for COPD patients. I think every practice nurse should participate in this online training.’

‘I am very impressed with this training program. I found it interesting and very informative. It strongly increased my knowledge and confidence with future management of my patients with COPD. Well done.’

The program was assisted with funding by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing through a Rural Health Continuing Education Stream Two grant administered by the National Rural Health Alliance.

Lung Foundation Australia also received support from foundation partners Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis and Air Liquide Healthcare and supporting partners AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline.