The Bloom Program in Nova Scotia

This summer, I happened to see a flyer in a pharmacy in Cape Breton. And it was very nice to see a pro-active campaign designed to help, that includes a quality assurance element from pharmacies themselves.

Well done Nova Scotia!

Here is a little about the program:

All pharmacies in Nova Scotia are required by law to follow professional standards of practice. Relevant to the Bloom Program these include: patient-centred drug therapy management; confidentiality of patient information; to educate and provide drug and non-drug information; to promote health in the community; and to promote collaborative relationships with healthcare providers and others.*

The program aims to improve the health and well being of people living with mental illness and addictions. Patients registered with the program can expect in-depth, patient-centred medication therapy management, with a focus on mental and physical health problems as well as medication-related issues. In addition, pharmacies participating in the program support navigation of the system helping people to find local services and supports, referral to the appropriate level of care when needed, and offer education and resources about mental illness, addictions, and medications.

Patients are eligible for the program if they have a diagnosed mental illness or addiction causing functional impairment and a current medication therapy issue. Eligible diagnoses are those that are commonly managed by psychotropic medications.

For each person enrolling in the program, the goals are to support recovery, address the most important health and medication issues, and be discharged from the program after 6 months. Extensions are possible.

The key principle and commitments of the program are provided in the Program Charter.

The program prioritizes patient-centred care, confidentiality, and collaboration. Pharmacists will work collaboratively with patients, their personal supports (i.e., those people identified by the patient who are in their circle of care), and their health team.

Participating pharmacies have developed and are continuing to develop linkages within their communities to support people living with mental illness and addictions. This includes providing print resources and local information about mental health and addictions support and services. If you are a local mental health organization or provide patient support or service feel free to contact a Bloom pharmacy near you.

The Bloom Program is the first of its kind in Canada and internationally. It is funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness and is part of the Nova Scotia mental health and addictions strategy. There are no additional costs to patients enrolling in the program. Quality of care is of the highest priority. Pharmacies participating in the program have agreed to undergo quality assurance measures. The program is being comprehensively evaluated.

Click here for the Bloom Program website.

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