IT intervention to support medicine optimisation in primary care

Jeffries, M. et al. (2017) Understanding the implementation and adoption of an information technology intervention to support medicine optimisation in primary care: qualitative study using strong structuration theory. BMJ Open. 7:e014810

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Objectives: Using strong structuration theory, we aimed to understand the adoption and implementation of an electronic clinical audit and feedback tool to support medicine optimisation for patients in primary care.

Conclusions: Successful implementation of information technology interventions for medicine optimisation will depend on a combination of the infrastructure within primary care, social structures embedded in the technology and the conventions, norms and dispositions of those utilising it. Future interventions, using electronic audit and feedback tools to improve medication safety, should consider the complexity of the social and organisational contexts and how internal and external structures can affect the use of the technology in order to support effective implementation.

Read the full article here

New innovation scorecard platform launched

The improved platform aims to make it easier to see uptake of pharmaceutical products and medical innovations within the NHS | NHS Efficiency 

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Image source: Julie Rybarczyk – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The scorecard reports on the use of medicines and medical technologies in the NHS in England, specifically those which have been positively appraised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) since 2012.

The site now provides greater transparency and is easier to use.

Users can now:

  • compare commissioning organisations’ uptake of medicines
  • view information without having to download data
  • share results more easily and securely
  • look at overall levels of prescribing by medicine

The Innovation Scorecard is part of the government’s broader goal of supporting open data and transparency.

Read the full overview here

The Innovation Scoreboard is available through NHS Digital here

Nurses and pharmacists can prescribe as effectively as doctors

Weeks G, George J, Maclure K, Stewart D. Non-medical prescribing versus medical prescribing for acute and chronic disease management in primary and secondary care. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;(11):CD011227

Prescribing by suitably-trained pharmacists and nurses offers similar outcomes to prescribing by doctors, at least in the management of chronic conditions.

This Cochrane review pooled clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction across 45 studies of nurse or pharmacist prescribing compared with doctor prescribing.

Most studies were of chronic disease management in primary care settings in high income countries (25 from the US and six from the UK).

Independent and supplementary prescribers in the NHS include not only the nurses and pharmacists, as covered in this review, but also other professions such as podiatrists, optometrists, and physiotherapists. At a time of high demand for NHS resources, with shortages of doctors in some specialties, prescribing by other professionals may help ease the workload, but safety, time and costs of training need to be considered.

Long term conditions and prescription charges

The Prescription Charges Coalition has launched a new survey looking at the ways in which prescription charges affect the lives of people in England with long-term conditions.

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At the moment, people with long term conditions in England who work have to pay for their medicines, because the list of illnesses that qualify for free prescriptions is limited and out of date.  The prescription charges coalition is campaigning for all people with long-term conditions to receive free prescriptions.

Find out more about the campaign, at the Prescription Charges Coalition website.

New tool developed to help avoid adverse drug reactions

Researchers have developed a new tool to help avoid adverse reactions to medicines | ScienceDaily

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Previous research at Alder Hey found that three out of every 100 children admitted to hospital experience an ADR due to a medicine taken at home. 22% of these ADRs might have been avoidable. Examples of ADRs which were avoidable included: diarrhea with antibiotics, and constipation with medicines given to relieve pain and vomiting related to chemotherapy.

The team also found that around 1 in 6 children experienced at least one ADR whilst in hospital, which is similar to findings in adults. More than half of the ADRs seen in children in hospital were due to medicines used in general anaesthesia and for the treatment of pain after surgery.

Most of the ADRs were not severe and resolved soon after the medicine was stopped. The five most common ADRs seen were nausea and/or vomiting, itching, constipation, diarrhea and sleepiness.

Read the full overview here

Read the original research abstract here

Community Pharmacy Forward View

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published Community Pharmacy forward view: Part 2 making it happen

 

This  is an outline implementation framework for the Community Pharmacy Forward View which sets out pathways for the policy change and examines the professional development and partnership working required to enable community pharmacy to play its full role within an integrated health and care system.

More information at The Community Pharmacy Forward View

Frontline pharmacists: making a difference for people with long-term conditions

Royal Pharmaceutical Society, November 2016

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Royal Pharmaceutical Society

This report argues the case for community pharmacists being able to routinely prescribe medicines for people with long-term conditions and refer them directly to other health care professionals to ease the overwhelming demand facing the NHS. Currently, the care of people with long term conditions accounts for half of all GP appointments, 64 per cent of outpatient appointments and 70 per cent of all health and social care spending. The report estimates that up to £500 million of extra value could be generated if medicines were used in a more optimal manner in five therapeutic areas: asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease and schizophrenia.