Joined-up tech saves time and helps pharmacists manage shielded patients better

02 Sep 2020

Community pharmacists saved hours in admin a week and provided a more efficient service to shielding patients during the COVID-19 outbreak, thanks to software that integrates with their PMR system.

Pharmacists say PharmOutcomes, a secure web-based management platform to record and manage patient services, is making the processing of payments for commissioned services faster and simpler, while helping reduce errors and freeing up pharmacists to spend more time with patients.

EMIS Group acquired the platform earlier this year and is integrating it with its ProScript Connect software, making it easier for pharmacy to manage a wide range of services, including referrals from NHS 111 and from GP practices. It is available to all 11,500 community pharmacists in England, not just those using ProScript Connect.

Chris Bland, area manager for Kamsons Pharmacy in Leeds, said: “The advantage of the integration between PharmOutcomes and ProScript Connect is that it automatically administers the payments for commissioned services."

“We’re saving hours a week of time that staff used to spend on processing payments. It’s quicker and more streamlined”

Chris Bland, area manager, Kamsons Pharmacy

The system has also enabled pharmacists to identify patients who were shielding due to COVID-19, to make sure they received prescriptions safely, and processed payments for delivering prescription medication to them at home if family or volunteers could not do it.

Mike Patel, superintendent pharmacist in South London, said: “It has been beneficial for identifying shielded patients, it’s been a lot simpler. We didn’t have to waste time checking which ones were shielding, because we could see at a glance. You are not scrolling from page to page to find the additional information you need.”

Following the government’s announcement plans for a mass flu vaccination campaign this winter, the software integration is enabling pharmacists to handle flu vaccines without switching between ProScript Connect and PharmOutcomes during consultations. They can initiate the service from the patient medication record held in ProScript Connect, removing the need to manually search for the patient. Then if they decide to dispense the vaccine, the product choice is pre-populated in the system, based on the outcome of the consultation.

EMIS has now begun piloting secure digital messaging via PharmOutcomes directly into GPs’ EMIS Web clinical systems, enabling information about patient services provided by the pharmacist to be embedded into the patient’s GP record.

“I can see this coming into its own for vaccinations during flu season, when it will be a lot easier for us to input the flu data, so it gets to the GP surgery quicker. It also eliminates the risk of inputting incorrect data and helps prevents errors.”

Chris Bland, area manager, Kamsons Pharmacy

Shanel Raichura, Senior Clinical Director at EMIS Health said: “Community pharmacists will be on the frontline again in what is certain to be another very busy winter for the NHS. This, coupled with the government’s plans for mass flu vaccination, means they will need all the help they can get, and I’m proud that our integrated systems are already helping to take some of the pressure off.”