The 2017 Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation benchmarking project opened for data collection on 2 June 2017. This year, the project makes use of metric definitions developed in collaboration with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Hospital Expert Advisory Group (HEAG). The definitions — explanations of how to calculate figures for metrics including the percentage of qualified pharmacist prescribers routinely prescribing, and the percentage of patients experiencing an omission of a critical medicine — can be read on the RPS website.
“Benchmarking is a cost-effective tool used across industry and the public sector to drive improvement and support good governance,” says Aiden Rawlinson, programme manager at NHS Benchmarking Network, who worked with the HEAG to optimise the project. “The NHS Benchmarking Network is the NHS’ in-house benchmarking service, providing a grassroots approach to benchmarking in which NHS clinicians and managers can develop projects to best meet their needs.”
The group helped to sense-check questions in the survey, and signposted Rawlinson to emerging areas of interest — including the pharmacy role in emergency departments, and banding of prescribing pharmacists.
In addition, HEAG members who had completed previous benchmarking exercises have offered feedback to Rawlinson on how the process could be improved.
“The Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation is the Network’s largest project with over 150 organisations taking part, which reflects the fantastic response of the pharmacy community,” Rawlinson told The Pharmaceutical Journal. “There is no such thing as a perfect benchmarking project and the Network is committed to working with participants and stakeholders to improve each cycle of the project. From the outset of the project the RPS was very supportive and helpful by providing guidance and putting the Network in touch with experts who could advise on technical areas. The Network is grateful to the RPS Hospital Expert Advisory Group for their work in defining a set of key metrics, and these have been incorporated into the benchmarking project.”
The 2017 Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation benchmarking project closes for data collection on 4 August 2017.