Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Collaborative: Involving the Patient

18 Oct

By James Hind

james-hind_cropped

Over the last year I had made some contacts with the University of Manchester’s undergraduate pharmacy programme – offering student placements and assessing the first year OSCE examinations. The tentacles of the University email system must have decided that I’d be up for something a bit different – out of the blue I received an email about the patient safety collaborative and it looked like it would be a really interesting idea.

Patient safety was something that I felt I could benefit from being challenged about so I decided to contact Penny, and I’ve been part of the collaborative for the last 6 months. I’m the Pharmacy Manager at Superdrug’s Manchester city centre branch – I’ve been there for almost 10 years now, and one of the things that I’ve noticed over the years is the move toward a more patient-centered approach.

Concordance has replaced compliance; services are geared toward the patients’ needs,  and one of the things that struck me, having been involved in this initiative was how best to include the patient in the process of dispensing their prescriptions.

I thought about how I’d always been told that pharmacists are the last step between the doctor writing the prescription and the patient taking their medication, and I realised that this wasn’t really true – it’s patients who are the last step. They decide whether or not to take what we dispense to them, and perhaps our challenge is to involve them more, and in a more consistent way, at the point where we hand over their medication.

I developed the idea of label that could be attached to the dispensing bag. I wanted something that could be used as a quick check (have we got the right patient; did we tell them what their medication was for, and are they confident that they know how to use it). I also wanted it to give some of the ownership back to the patient – sometimes things go wrong, and could a label be used as a prompt for the patient, to give them the confidence to contact us if they were unsure about anything or if they felt there may have been a mistake?

james-holt_safety-label

Part of the work of the collaborative is for the participants to make a safety case. It involves taking a critical look at the systems and processes currently in place and the types of near misses and incidents that are occurring. The challenge is then to identify any interventions we could make, put them into practice, and  evaluate them to see if they were successful or not.

I’m still working my way through this process. Being part of the collaborative though has already had a really positive impact on the way I work and the discussions that I have with my team. We’re recording a lot more near-misses, because we’re all now more aware of them. More importantly, we’re really trying to analyse why they’re happening and learn from them. Patient safety can only improve as a result.

Read part one of the blog series.

Read part two of the blog series.

3 Responses to “Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Collaborative: Involving the Patient”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Collaborative part two: Assessing safety | GM PSTRC - October 18, 2016

    […] Read part three of the blog series. […]

  2. The NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Collaborative: part one | GM PSTRC - October 18, 2016

    […] Read part three of the blog series. […]

  3. James Hind, member of the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Collaborative, scoops Clinical Excellence Award at Superdrug’s annual Awards Ceremony | GM PSTRC - February 23, 2017

    […] Read James Hind’s blog post on his involvement with the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Collaborative here […]

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