New standard to support better pharmacy information sharing

Digital information sharing between community pharmacies and GP practices to change future of care

People want the safest and best care possible. To support this, the PRSB has published the a new standard outlining the information that needs to be shared between community pharmacies and GP practices.

The number of people living with long-term conditions is increasing, and community pharmacies play an essential role in providing services to patients to keep them well in the community. This includes offering vaccinations, medication and appliance reviews, and support with minor illnesses. It’s essential that the information about care provided in community pharmacies is recorded in digital care records which can then be shared with GPs and other professionals in a timely manner.

Improving data sharing between community pharmacies and GP practices is expected to support a reduction in medication errors, improve patient safety and reduce administrative work for busy staff with the eventual elimination of paper templates.

The first stage of the standard details what information should be recorded about vaccinations administered and emergency medicines supplied by community pharmacies. Not only will the standard support better care in the community, it will provide high-quality data for service planning, commissioning organisations and public health programmes by standardising vaccination information.

PRSB is also working on the second stage of the standard, to be released in Spring 2019. It will cover:

  • Medication Reviews
  • Appliance Use Review
  • New Medicine Services
  • Digital Minor Illness Referral Scheme
  • Hospital discharge summaries to community pharmacy

Stephen Goundrey-Smith, PRSB advisory board member for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and one of the clinical leads on the project, said: “As pharmacy services expand further, it will become increasingly important for pharmacists to share vital information about patient care with GPs. By doing this digitally, we can ensure that care professionals have timely access to relevant information, leading to better, safer and more personalised care. This sharing of data will also demonstrate the value of pharmacists’ professional input into patient care.” 

The first stage of the standard has been published in collaboration with NHS Digital and the Royal College of Physicians Health Informatics Unit. It has been developed with clinical leadership provided by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Royal College of General Practitioners, as well as other professionals, including pharmacists and GPs.

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