When some patients leave hospital they can need extra support taking their medications, especially if changes have been made to their prescription. The Transfers of Care Around Medicines (TCAM) programme is helping to ensure that when a patient leaves hospital, they have access to support so they understand the medicines they have been prescribed.
In hospital, a patient’s medication often changes or they just need a bit of help to make sure they are taking their medicines safely and effectively.
Patients don’t always remember everything they are told in hospital, so it can be very helpful to have someone go through it again, discussing side effects and checking they understand.
When a patient moves from one care setting to another, known as transfer of care; there is an increased risk of adverse effects. 30-70% of patients experience unintentional changes to their treatment or an error is made because of a miscommunication.
This is what the TCAM programme aims to address.
When patients in hospital are identified as needing extra support with their medicines, they are referred at the point of discharge, through a safe and secure digital platform, for advice from their local community pharmacist.
Original work in the North East has shown that patients who see their community pharmacist after they’ve been in hospital are less likely to be readmitted and, if they are, will experience a shorter stay.
We have worked with hospital trusts and Local Pharmaceutical Committees in our region to help set up a secure electronic interface between the hospital IT systems and PharmOutcomes, the community pharmacy system. This has further improved TCAM by providing patient data quickly and seamlessly to their community pharmacist.
For the next phase of this programme, we are building on work already undertaken to improve communication and support more local trusts to establish a transfers of care pathway, enabling appropriate referrals to community or GP pharmacists to become part of routine practice.
Wessex AHSN have produced a series of videos under the ‘Meet Mo’ campaign’ to encourage people, who may be struggling with medicines, to seek help.
The second Mo video is about supporting patients who’ve had a visit to hospital, where new medicines may be prescribed or where changes have been made to their medicines.
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