Michael Dowdall – Executive Editor, Research & Learning
April 2019 marked a year since the launch of the RPS MyCPD app, which contains content from The Pharmaceutical Journal and Clinical Pharmacist. Its aim is to meet the needs of members and pharmacy professionals undergoing revalidation. And it seems to be doing just that – in quarter one 2019, around 1,000 users were accessing content through the RPS MyCPD app every month, completing over 1,400 records of their learning and CPD activities. With updates scheduled over the coming months, the additional revalidation requirements for peer discussion and reflective accounts, as well as over 330 articles from Pharmaceutical Journal Publications now available, this number is certain to grow.
Our latest learning and CPD content
As well as accessing our newly published learning and CPD content via the app, you can access it online through our website. This quarter, we have produced relevant and informative content including practical advice to help pharmacists and pharmacy professionals working across all sectors to meet planned and unplanned learning requirements for revalidation. These include mental health – specifically how to recognise the warning signs and deal with suicide disclosure – as well as how to avoid common prescribing errors and investigating a medicines incident, which formed part of a special issue of The Pharmaceutical Journal on medicines safety, published in February 2019. Other topics covered in learning include oral ulceration, which includes a handy photo guide to help pharmacists distinguish between the different types, and the management of symptoms of motor neurone disease.
We always endeavour to produce content to provide support for pharmacy professionals in relation to current issues or changes in practice. For example, despite the World Health Organization announcing that measles had been eliminated in the UK in 2017, it still remains a threat to the UK population, with sustained outbreaks occurring in the UK, as well as mainland Europe and the United States. Concerns over vaccine safety, myths and cultural barriers can contribute to varying rates of vaccine uptake. In response to this we produced a learning article that highlights techniques that pharmacists and pharmacy teams can use to discuss vaccine decision-making and effectiveness with parents and patients.
This year has also seen the change to home-based screening for colorectal (bowel) cancer in England from the faecal occult blood test to the faecal immunochemical test. Therefore, we produced a learning article where these changes were highlighted alongside practical advice for pharmacists and their teams to engage with patients concerned about red-flag symptoms and screening.
Although our content provides valuable learning for pharmacists working across all sectors, we have produced a number of clinical articles for specialist pharmacists and those working in hospitals, covering venous thromboembolism prevention in hospitalised patients, diagnosis and management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which have associated CPD modules for readers to test their learning. Other published CPD modules cover tobacco smoking and its potential drug interactions and the symptoms of overactive bladder and their management.
Future revalidation content
With the introduction of the reflective account and peer discussion elements of the revalidation process, we have developed a number of practical and helpful articles to further support members and readers. These are due to be published in May and have been planned to coincide with the time many pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are entering their second year of revalidation. More to come on this!
Last year you told us that you wanted more learning content in new formats. The research and learning team have listened and have been working on a new programme of content that will be launched over the next few months and we will also be writing more blogs on a quarterly basis, so watch this space!
The revalidation learning and support content we published last year proved both useful and popular for members and our online website visitors. We would be interested to hear from members and our readers about the new system – was it a positive experience? Did you experience any difficulties with the new process? Your feedback will help us identify ways in which our content can be developed to better support you.
Furthermore, if you have feedback on the journal and our coverage, revalidation, areas you need learning resources for or neglected topics you think would be of interest to a wider pharmacy audience, we want to hear from you. You can email me directly, or send me a tweet @michael_dowdall.