Locally and globally, the need for high quality sustainable health care continues to increase, and a significant challenge exists for education providers to prepare health professionals who are not only skilled in contemporary practice but also equipped to respond and adapt flexibly to future health needs and priorities, many of which are unknown.
This presentation outlines how pharmacy education in Australia is approaching this challenge through adopting the lens of social accountability, a holistic concept encompassing both a present and future focus. The social accountability framework has been embedded into new Accreditation Standards for pharmacy education programs through a collaborative and consultative process involving the Australian Pharmacy Council in partnership with pharmacy education providers across Australia and New Zealand.
This framework focuses on the responsibilities and obligations of individuals and organisations to serve society by acknowledging the importance not only of harm prevention, but also of active health promotion and optimisation of individual and societal health outcomes. Individual pharmacists demonstrate social accountability through their capability and commitment to delivering culturally safe and responsive person-centred care, addressing the health care needs of individuals and the wider society, and assuming responsibility for the sustainable use of health care resources. Education providers demonstrate social accountability by delivering education programs which promote the development of socially accountable pharmacists, and by undertaking research and service activities targeted towards addressing current and future priority health concerns of society.
The process of revising pharmacy education Accreditation Standards has resulted in widespread endorsement of the social accountability framework by both education providers and the profession generally. This presentation will outline the social accountability framework, the processes of its development and implementation, and the underpinning stakeholder partnership, engagement and commitment to shaping a sustainable future for the profession in its service of society.