Information management and technology
Information Technology underpins and supports the delivery of pharmacy services across all sectors of pharmacy.
Effective and robust IT systems...
- Have a positive impact on patient safety, by reducing medication errors.
- Enable interoperability between systems and so facilitate consistency and quality of care within the wider NHS.
- Promote efficient service delivery and therefore are vital to the future development of new clinical roles for pharmacists.
The Society is committed to ensuring that these systems are developed in the most appropriate way which will help secure the future requirements of pharmacists in their day to day practice throughout the UK. We recognise that there are differences in IT systems across England, Scotland and Wales and will work with members, governments and stakeholders to ensure that what is being developed fulfils the needs and aspirations of the membership in each country.
Providing a robust electronic evidence base of the valuable and important role that pharmacists play in the care of patients is vitally important for the development and promotion of new clinical roles for pharmacists in the future.
We will champion the appropriate use of Information Management and Technology as an important enabler in helping the NHS to meet the increasing demand for services by making better use of pharmacists’ skills to help patients.
Areas where we will be actively working to promote and support pharmacy professionals include:
Expert working group - Users of EPS Release 2
The English Pharmacy Board (EPB) has established an English IM&T expert working group across all sectors of pharmacy. This group has helped to develop an IM&T workplan for England and the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is part of this workplan.
The RPS fully supports the implementation of EPS in England and we recommend the use and uptake of this service to our members. The RPS will support pharmacists in England as they move from EPSr1 to EPSr2 over the next few months. Clearly this is dependent on the availability of EPSr2 via system suppliers.
We are aware that there are some significant practical issues with EPSr2, particularly as pharmacists are currently operating dual systems. We are working with NHS Connecting for Health to address these. The RPS will be working with other pharmacy organisations as well as end users to ensure that nationally, pharmacists receive a consistent and efficient service. We intend to set professional standards (for example minimum data sets) and promote intra-operability between systems wherever possible.
The RPS intends that EPS systems are the first step in a more integrated IT system for patients:
"We whole heartedly support the NHS Future Forum recommendation which states that 'Every individual should own their own patient record and be able to share it as they wish. All care records should be electronic and accessible at the point of care throughout the whole care journey, regardless of sector or provider'. In the "new world" of "any qualified provider" access must be granted on the basis of patient need and service delivery rather than professional status. It will be a huge barrier to both integration and innovation of care if Electronic Health Record access is not granted on this basis and we will lobby hard on this issue"
This forum provides an area for discussion of issues, experiences and debate about systems and the ways in which they can be improved. We would like to hear your views on EPSr2 and your experiences to date, both good and bad.