The latest survey with 19 ePMA suppliers in the UK, made by the NHS, shows that two suppliers should have an integration with the electronic prescribing service (EPS) ready by the end of 2022. Better is ahead, with an already submitted use case to the NHS for its Better Meds system integration with EPS in acute setting.
The survey results were mentioned at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress, the largest UK event for NHS clinicians, focusing on the latest innovations in medication management and trends related to medication safety. At the event taking place in London, the NHS experts presented insights into the research about topics such as approaches to better antimicrobial stewardship, newest progress in making medication data interoperable across systems and care levels and the future plans to decrease overprescribing of medications.
Waste caused by the lack of interoperability
The above mentioned integration with EPS is important because the lack of across-the-board standards use in the transfer of care results in wasted resources, errors, and clinical risk for patients. It can still take more than a day for pharmacists to gather all the information about an admitted patient's medications and dosages. Based on data gathered in Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, NHS calculated that due to the burden of needed transcriptions in the transfer of care, hospitals in the UK waste 1.2 million hours of staff time, and do 167 million transcriptions annually.
By March 2023 all healthcare IT vendors of medication prescribing systems in the UK will be required to use the same national standards. This across-the-board standards unity is among the key components for data exchange across primary and hospital care, resulting in safer and better care.
Interoperability is Better's core value and on top of our priorities. Better Meds was build by using the medication standard dm+d natively from its inception. We are closely following NHS guidelines around standards, to be consistently compliant with the requirements enabling national interconnectivity among care levels.
Overprescribing and other medication related challenges
We have a long way to go in improving medication safety, was clear at the congress. As mentioned by Ann Slee from the NHS, 6.5% of hospital admissions are caused by adverse drug effects, 5 deaths every day due to errors in prescribing, 1 £ in every 5 £ spent on medicines is wasted. 50% of people with long term conditions don’t take their medicines properly.
NHS also recognised the need to decrease overprescribing of medications to patients. Patients taking 10 or more medicines per day are 300% more likely to be admitted to the hospital due to an adverse drug reaction. In 2010 it was estimated that 300 million British Pounds of prescribed medicines are wasted every year. It is estimated that at least 10% of the current volume of medicines may be overprescribed.
To curb complications, NHS aims to build several initiatives for medication optimisation, among them the rapid expansion of clinical pharmacists alongside GPs. The NHS Long term plan includes planning on improving digital systems, interoperability, and patients records, funding more pharmacists in primary care networks to perform Structured Medication Reviews, and introducing personalised care for patients.
The National Overprescribing Review Implementation Programme aims to achieve long term reductions to overprescribing via delivery of social and cultural improvements within the NHS.