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Development and piloting of a community pharmacy service aimed at screening atrial fibrillation

Project Member(s): Sabater Hernandez, D., Ferguson, C.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Covidien Pty Ltd

Start year: 2016

Summary: Community pharmacists are highly-qualified professionals that already have been shown to have a positive impact on the control of cardiovascular risk factors when providing patient-centered services. Community pharmacy services are seen as an asset to enhance patient's cardiovascular health, optimize the use of existing resources and facilities in the health system and reduce the economic burden of cardiovascular disease in Australia. Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice and is associated with increased morbidity, mortality and preventable stroke. Developing strategies to early identify and manage atrial fibrillation is seen crucial for reducing the burden of stroke. The accessible network of community pharmacies in Australia provides a valuable opportunity to extensively screen such a disease and so begin early treatment. The objective of this project is to generate a health service that can be widely implemented in the community pharmacy setting for the screening of atrial fibrillation. To achieve such an objective 2 steps will be conducted: (1) service development, which aims to generate a theoretical model of the service to be piloted; (2) piloting the service, which aims to test such a model in a real scenario (limited scale) to optimize service’s procedures and materials. A preliminary theoretical model of the service will be developed based on both existing literature and empirical evidence. That preliminary model will be discussed with relevant stakeholders (e.g., community pharmacists, patients), for further adjustment to the community pharmacy setting and to identify key interventions that can help the implementation of the service. For piloting purposes, a study will be conducted in a sample of 8-10 community pharmacies in New South Wales. An evaluation focused on testing how the service is delivered to patients will be conducted.

Keywords: community pharmacy services; atrial fibrillation; collaborative planning; service co-design

FOR Codes: Cardiology (incl. Cardiovascular Diseases), Public Health and Health Services, Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences, Health and Support Services