Posts tagged: patient safety

Mar 26 2015

Diary of a Pre-Reg: How Research Changed the System

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset By Andrew Carruthers, Pre-registration  Hospital Pharmacist with NHS GGC

Within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde,     pharmacists and nursing staff were concerned. The vancomycin guidelines, which required maintenance doses to be administered during the night, were leaving patients exhausted. As part of my Pre-registration research project, I was tasked with performing a pharmacokinetic analysis to test different times post-loading dose and gauge if there was any flexibility in the guideline, so that patients could either have their first maintenance dose early or delayed, while still remaining therapeutic.

I originally thought this project would be fairly straight forward, as I have a keen interest in pharmacokinetics and my fourth year dissertation project at university involved a pharmacokinetic analysis, and adjustment, to a paediatric vancomycin guideline. This project was extremely successful and resulted in a change of practice of which I am incredibly proud. However, my new project contained complex pharmacokinetic principles, some familiar to me, but many not. As my last project was focused on paediatric pharmacokinetics, some of the principles I had learned were not applicable. As my pharmacokinetics lecturer’s mantra went: “Children are NOT small adults”.

Ultimately, the project was a great success: I quantified the concerns of nursing staff and did find a tendency for patients to receive dosing in the night. I was also able to come up with recommendations on the timing of the first maintenance dose to overcome this. I now have plans to report my findings to the Antimicrobial Utilisation Committee for review.

For future hospital pre-registration pharmacists I have bit of advice – find something that interests you and do not be afraid to make it known. Had I not told my tutor where my interests lay then I would not have had this opportunity. If something does not interest you, then you will struggle to put in the extra work that makes a good project great! I would also set your objectives early on and confirm them with your project tutor. These projects have a tendency to grow arms and legs and become much bigger than can be done in the time-frame. This can be very exciting, but there is limited time and a lot to do in your pre-registration year. You could note any extra objectives asked of you then follow them up once qualified and spend the time they require to be done right.

My project has solidified my interest in pharmacokinetics, where I hope to pursue a career, but has also sparked an interest in research. Being able to recommend solutions to an identified problem is extremely satisfying and rewarding. I hope, once qualified, to conduct more research that has an impact in improving patient care.

Mar 10 2015

Yellow is the new black

Susan Huey 150x150Susan Huey, Clinical Pharmacist, Pre-registration Tutor and Yellow Card Champion for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Have you completed a yellow card? Are you encouraging your patients to report any adverse side effects to any medicines they are taking? All of us can do our part to help ensure healthcare products are acceptably safe for patients. Read more »

Jan 31 2013

Co-operation, not competition is key to patient safety

By Paul Myres, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Wales

They may be different professions working in different places on the high street but there is one thing that unites GPs and pharmacists: a belief that patients in Wales are put at risk by failures in communication and understanding between health professionals – failures arising from outmoded systems and silo thinking. Read more »

Jun 18 2012

How can we improve transfer of medicines information?

By Heidi Wright, RPS Policy and Practice Lead

Taking a medicine is the most frequent method that patients use to improve their health. In particular, older people and those with long term conditions rely heavily on medicines as a way of managing their illnesses.  These patients, often with strict and complicated medication regimes, are some of the most vulnerable to problems with their medicines when they transfer care settings. Whether it’s from care homes to hospitals, or mental health hospitals to home, these are times when the risk of medication errors tends to increase.

In fact, research shows that around 60% of patients have 3 or more medicines changed during their hospital stay, 20% experience side-effects after having their medicines changed and almost half of all patients experience an error with their medicines after they are discharged from hospital. Read more »

May 02 2012

Prescribing – Why every GP practice needs a pharmacist

By Neal Patel, Head of Corporate Communications

The General medical Council’s new report on prescribing published today, “Investigating the prevalence and causes of prescribing errors in general practice”, shows that while the vast majority of prescribing by GP’s  is safe and effective, around 1 in 20 prescriptions contain an error. The report makes recommendations of ways in which safety and quality of prescribing could be further improved.

The GMC have said that patients and doctors could also benefit from greater involvement ofrom pharmacists in supporting prescribing and monitoring. We would go further and have   a pharmacist working in the practice with GPs, dedicated to patient safety.

GP’s, like pharmacists, are busy people, the demands of modern healthcare provision mean that it’s almost impossible for any one person be on top of all current thinking around illness, treatment and prevention.

Collaboration is key, but often this can be difficult due to poor communication systems and IT. Read more »

Dec 19 2011

Patient Safety Programme in Scotland

By Annamarie McGregor, Professional Support Pharmacist for the RPS in Scotland

As part of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s commitment to medicines safety, the Local Practice Forums in Scotland have each been looking at specific elements of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP).  The discussion held at RPS on the 7th December linked in with the current work programme of the Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and the implementation plans of their Strategic Plan in Secondary care. The ways in which this can be rolled out in Primary Care was a great incentive for all sectors of the Scottish pharmacy profession to come together and get involved in this debate. Read more »