Hospital pharmacists can save almost ten minutes per patient and identify more discrepancies when reconciling a patient’s medication if they have access to the summary care record (SCR), according to research published in the Journal of Pharmacy Management
The study was conducted by the pharmacy team at BMI Healthcare, working with NHS Digital to offer access to the SCRs of NHS patients treated within BMI Thornbury Hospital, a private hospital in Sheffield.
Data from 50 medicines reconciliations carried out without access to the SCR, but using a minimum of two commonly accepted non-SCR sources of information, such as contacting the patients’ GP surgery, were collected and then compared with data from 50 reconciliations carried out using the SCR and a minimum of one other non-SCR source of information.
Overall, the researchers found that using the SCR was quicker and saved an average of 9.2 minutes per patient. The mean time to complete a medicines reconciliation without the use of a SCR was 22.4 minutes compared to 13.2 minutes when the record was used.
At the same time, they found that the mean number of discrepancies identified per patient when the SCR was used was 2.1 compared to 1.7 when the SCR was not used.
“Access to information held regarding patients’ medications is essential to help hospital pharmacy teams identify and manage potential medication issues and ensure that patients receive safe and effective care,” said lead author Andrew Walker, pharmacy clinical services manager at BMI Healthcare.
“The study demonstrates the impact of the SCR system to help the pharmacy team conduct more accurate and efficient medicines reconciliations and deliver the highest standards of care to patients treated within the hospital.”