Posted by: Brendan Fraser21 APR 2013
E-Prescribing will open up opportunities for hospital pharmacy. In a previous blog, I mentioned that some additional reports I had been reading included the Spoonful of Sugar audit commission document. This gave an example of the Wirral Hospital, showing how automatic dispensing and E-prescribing had saved ward pharmacists time to focus on more clinical aspects (by around 50%).
With medicines being reconciled automatically through use of information via GP surgeries, time spent ringing surgeries is saved. Double checking medicines with patients is still vital and can be a quick measure of compliance. Both hospital and community pharmacists have a role to play when checking compliance, I believe it was quoted an estimate of over a hundred million pounds is wasted due to unused medicines (and this was old data). I wonder what the figure is estimated at now. However, I suppose the use of community services like MURs/NMS will help tackle this (providing there is investment in the future).
Funnily enough, I think I've been deluded by where pharmacy is actually going. It was my understanding through the teachings and discussions at university, that pharmacy will be moving to the more clinical realms, rather than technical. I feel, this isn't the case. A pharmacist told me that they feel E-prescribing reduces the amount of patient contact time. Well why is this? Shouldn't this be the time to do some discharge counselling? Go on consultant ward rounds? Show what pharmacy has to offer?
Sadly, it probably all comes down to money... Who will pay for these services? With the current deficit and pharmacy being a costly service in general, why should the government and clinical commissioning groups invest?
I remember discussing medicines use reviews during a tutorial at university. Interestingly, both myself and a friend argued that MURs was something pharmacists should be doing anyway. Why does that need to be an additional service? Of course we were both idealistic and naive. Provide a service for free? No way! Controversial times.
It's all a bit of a shame. I think pharmacy is one the of most under utilised professions. I also didn't realise how much politics and business influences pharmacy. I have so much reading/learning to do. I often wonder if pharmacy has missed out on opportunities where other health care professional have stepped up. I don't know.
On a pre-reg note, had my 39 week appraisal the other day. Most compentencies signed off, win. However I'm a bit worried because I don't have a job yet and the job scene isn't looking too brilliant, is it?
Ah well. I keep telling myself everything will work out in the end, we are over the double dip recession aren't we? Ha.