Pharmacy in Scotland

Best Practice Case Study

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Pharmacists enhancing surgical capacity

Pharmacists in Glasgow are leading a pre-surgical review service to expedite the discharge process following day case hip and knee replacement surgery and to improve post-operation outcomes for patients. The service was set up in March 2021, stimulated by the need to increase surgical capacity due to the backlog caused by the pandemic. 

Prescribing pharmacists initiate a remote consultation with patients on the surgical  waiting list to discuss plans for their medication whilst in hospital, and to formulate a person-centred discharge prescription plan in collaboration with the patient. 

"This novel pharmacy led service has contributed to a dramatically reduced length of hospital stay."

Picture1637932295106609461An electronic discharge prescription is written, dispensed and delivered in advance of admission, to minimise time the patient spends in hospital following surgery.

Both staff and patient feedback is extremely positive. All patients with previous experience of surgery in the health board reported an improved experience. Patients also reported being more confident in their understanding of what medicines to take post-discharge and why. Staff reported that the service improved prescribing standards and freed them up to focus on their clinical duties.

This service also resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of post-discharge healthcare encounters (such as GP visits or presentation at a hospital site) in the group reviewed by a pharmacist compared to the pre-implementation group.

This novel pharmacist-led service has proved to be an invaluable part of a multidisciplinary effort which dramatically reduced the length of stay for arthroplasty patients in Glasgow. The pharmacy review has improved prescribing standards and patient safety, enhanced the patients' surgical experience and reduced the surgical burden on healthcare systems. 



Keith Addie, Clinical Pharmacist and Kieran Fitzpatrick, Clinical Pharmacist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Email: [email protected][email protected]