Scotland is leading the way in the evolution of community pharmacy, making the most of your unique blend of skills, accessibility and place within the community to provide consistent and reliable access to services across the country. With the launch of NHS Pharmacy First Scotland in July, community pharmacists have become the first port of all for patients’ routine health concerns.
At Cegedim Healthcare Solutions, we have pivoted our strategy to align ourselves to the changing pharmacy landscape over the past year. The NHS’s long term vision for fully integrated community healthcare places pharmacy on the front line in delivering patient care. To support our customers we are committed to the evolution of Pharmacy Manager into an intelligent and truly digital solution that not only facilitates day to day activity, but works in smarter way for a pharmacy user.
We have extended the functionality of Pharmacy Manager to enable pharmacists to carry out their NHS Pharmacy First Scotland activity. The development has included additional functionality in two key areas: eligibility verification and support for the new advice, treatment and referral pathways. All of this functionality has been available within Pharmacy Manager since April.
NHS Pharmacy First Scotland consultations will take place within the Service Provision area of Pharmacy Manager. Standard consultations will use existing MAS PMR functionality with two major adaptions. The first is to remove the previous local registration and withdrawal methods and qualifying criteria, allowing the service to be extended and offered to a wider demographic. We have also implemented a centralised and live eligibility check to indicate if a patient is suitable for a consultation on the scheme. The eligibility check takes the local PMR record and compares it with the centrally held NHS record, presenting three status options to the pharmacists: eligible, non-eligible or unknown.
If the patient is eligible, the pharmacist can record a dispensing event within Pharmacy Manager, which then presents a confirmation of the endorsement and an option to send the electronic claim for the service provision. If the patient is unknown – because there is no CHI number found in the central register – the pharmacy team can use their own judgement and knowledge with regards to patient demographic and qualifying criteria to decide whether to proceed with the service.
We have also taken the opportunity to streamline the process, adding OneClick journeys to action outstanding reimbursements, unclaimed prescriptions and managed repeats within the Pharmacy Manager dashboard.
Existing functionality within Pharmacy Manager has been modified by enhancing the advice, treatment and referral pathways. For consultations involving PGD – currently Impetigo and UTIs – the pathway now includes the option to give advice or refer a patient to a GP. Our approach is iterative – in the initial implementation currently available, you can dispense a dummy item – i.e. dispense an advice or dispense a referral. With our on-going commitment to monthly releases, in our August release we have moved those options into the consultation outcome menu.
Future extensions to PGDs will, of course, be supported within Pharmacy Manager and further monthly updates will continue to enhance the PMR to support our customers in Scotland - for example, the October product file update will introduce the new Approved Products list.
Supporting a Digital Future
As Community Pharmacy evolves towards a service based model we are ready to embrace and support our customers. The PMR must also evolve – without great technology pharmacies cannot make the transformational changes needed to ensure they survive and thrive in the future, a future in which the delivery of patient services becomes ever more significant.
For example, we have integrated Pharmacy Manager with MedEpos, which means all dispensing, advice and referral activity can be undertaken at the counter alongside sales. In addition to saving space, by avoiding the need for both EPOS and a dedicated PMR screen, pharmacists can conduct the entire conversation with the customer at the pharmacy counter.
Looking ahead, the PMR needs to support more than recording consultations and dispensing activity; it needs to minimise the administrative burden and release pharmacists to spend more time in community and patient facing activity. We plan to extend the key metrics and insight provided within the dashboard, both at individual store and heath office level, to help you prioritise activity and better understand how the new service model is working day to day.
Essentially, the PMR has to work in a much smarter way for a pharmacy user and we can only achieve this goal if we walk in your pharmacy shoes and understand your pain points. Collaboration with customers, prospects and key stakeholders including NPA, ATOS, CPS and NHS Scotland is essential, and we will work closely with our pharmacy customers to discover new ways to drive further efficiencies within Pharmacy Manager.