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Improving Antimicrobial prescribing–An iphone App

by Kazeem Olalekan MRPharmS

I knew something was brewing at my hospital but wasn’t sure until I saw this headline in the Daily Echo: “Infection app is ‘sat nav for medicines’ (pictured).

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Then this headline on the PJ Online website: “Smartphone app aim to improve antimicrobial prescribing”

microapp

Followers of this blog will note that the pharmacists that worked with the medical team to develop this app is familiar to us at bookapharmacist.com. Dr Kieran Hand delivered a powerful presentation to the Southampton Branch of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in October 2009 which we co-sponsored with Pfizer (1).

In the spirit of trying to understand what this is all about, we decided to get the app (a mere 69p on Apple’s app store) and take it for a drive. And we have screen shots to prove it!

The app is called MicroGuide and details the antimicrobial guideline at the Trust by body systems. I felt the interface was clear and easy to use and have no doubt that this will represent a fantastic resource to support antibiotic decisions of medical staff.

This is the first app of its kind in the UK and it demonstrates 2 things to me:

  1. How collaboration between different healthcare professionals can yield amazing results. This product is a collaboration between Dr Sanjay Gupta (a critical care consultant), Dr Kieran Hand (a consultant pharmacist for anti-infectives) and Dr Adriana Basarab (consultant in medical microbiology and virology). Clearly inter-professional collaboration is an important way forward.
  2. This app is available to any member of the public to download onto their devices. That addresses an important notion of clinical transparency, which is the hallmark of the Health and Social care Bill going through Parliament (2). It means as a patient, I can understand what I am being treated with when in hospital. It empowers me. It means that as far as antimicrobial treatment goes, Southampton Hospital is laying it on the line for me.

It is this type of clinical transparency that will be required as the NHS move to transfer decision making to clinicians. It is nice to know that Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust is leading the way and pharmacists are playing their part.

I will now try and see if I can get an interview with Dr Kieran Hand.

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