The administration of drugs in a hospital setting is prone to logistical difficulties. It’s a big challenge to ensure the timely delivery of prescriptions to the wards and departments. Pharmacists play a vital role in the flow of patients through a hospital, with improving the speed at which patients go through the discharge process critical to ensuring that patients can go home as soon as they are able.
Pharmacists are paramount to patient care as they help optimise the safe and effective use of medicines. But medicines become increasingly more complex, drug doses can be missed, or administered at the incorrect time, and the consequences of errors can be serious.
There can be a number of causes of errors in the administration of drugs including:
- Drug rounds that take too long, which leads to patients getting their dose later than intended
- Human error, on a busy ward it’s easy to forget or with the increased complexity of care and prescribed medications per patient it is easier for mistakes to happen
- Conflicts with other rounds such as food
- Where a patient transfers to a new ward or resides in a ward outside their specialty as boarder patient, this can lead to issues tracking the patient and drug administration
An interesting article was published by the NHS on the alarm over hospital medication errors which found that time errors accounted for the majority of the “40% of hospital drugs administered incorrectly”. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/12December/Pages/hospital-drug-administration-errors-analysed.aspx The timely discharge of medication is therefore an important factor improving the quality of patient care in hospitals.
Ways in which technology can improve patient flow and safety
Technology can play an important role in assisting pharmacists with professional decision making in providing patient-centered services. PharmacyView was developed by Nugensis to help with the effective management of patients in pharmaceutical triage and care.
Pharmacy View helps pharmacists to:
- Get an immediate and real-time view of every patient’s pharmacy service requirements within a specialty or hospital, or across a whole NHS Board.
- Identify high risk patients, using triage status indicators
- Improve workload planning, through showing the triage status linked to the pharmacist review date
“PharmacyView will provide a system to record patient triage/referral and follow up, facilitating patient prioritisation and patient continuity” – NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
PharmacyView enables pharmacists and technicians to record and see, at a glance, completed/incomplete pharmacy-based requests and alerts. This enables a more safety-focused approach to the provision of patient care, thus eliminating unnecessary patient visits and assessments. When patients transfer to wards, a handover notes feature allows critical patient data to be recorded and improves consistency of care.
Reducing the administrative burden in Hospital
Pharmacy View can also enhance the effective communication within a hospital and reduce the administrative burden. It is available on touchscreens, desktops, and mobile devices, enabling pharmacists to identify and effectively manage the prescription and supply of drugs regardless of whether they are at a patient’s bedside or within the dispensary. As PharmacyView is integrated with WardView, the Nugensis ward management system, it gives Pharmacists a real-time view of patient data helping to reduce the time pharmacy clinicians spend on administrative tasks and decrease the number of phone calls nurses make following up on patients medications.
Nugensis’s expert team has an unrivaled track record from working in senior E-health roles in the NHS, while its products have been developed in consultation with healthcare professionals and clinicians. They have used this knowledge to design and implement systems for practitioners monitoring the care of patients in real time. To learn more visit the Nugensis Website