by Kazeem Olalekan MRPharmS
The final report on the transfer of information about medicine when patients move between care setting has been published. It makes for an interesting read. The main recommendations are:
- All suppliers of IT systems to hospitals and general practice should ensure their systems can effectively transfer recommended core content of medicines records
- All community pharmacies should have an NHS.net website address to enable secure communications between secondary and primary care
- All clinical records should be structured in a recognised and nationally agreed format to assist interoperability and the transfer of information
- National sharing of the most effective ways of signposting patients in secondary care to the post discharge Medicine Review Service and New Medicine Service provided by community pharmacists to enable patients to optimise benefits from their medicines
- Commissioning of post-discharge MURs for vulnerable patients should be considered as part of the pharmacy contractual frameworks
The report quoted an audit conducted in 2010 across 50 acute trusts involving over 8600 patients. It found that when medicines were checked after admission most patients had at least one omitted drug or wrong dose (1). If all the elements of this report are implemented, then it will be the first most significant step in getting the right structures in place. This is however, just the beginning. The hard work of engaging with pharmacists at a local level should therefore begin. The recommendation to share most effective ways of signposting patients must be arrived at through proper engagement of the shareholders. Wessex Local Pharmacy Forum, in conjunction with Hampshire and Isle of Wight LPC and Dorset LPC have started the process of local engagement. The Transfer of Care events organised recently is a key example of this. I have posted a YouTube video of the feedback from that event (see below):
This report is the results of a six-month project involving over 30 healthcare organisations which volunteered to implement RPS guidance on transfer of medicines information. It will be a travesty if we don’t work together to make this a success. The project is endorsed by the Academy of Medical Colleges, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Physicians.
Time to get busy! I think we need an evangelist…an MUR Evangelist! I also think there is an evangelist in all of us.
(1) Dodds LJ. Unintended discrepancies between pre-admission and admission prescriptions identified by pharmacy-led medicines reconciliation: results of a collaborative service evaluation across East and SE England. IJPP 18 (Supp 2) September 2010 pp9-10