Looking after your Patients in the way they Deserve
The most common form of medical intervention is medication. Over the age of 75 years, 4 out of 5 people take a medicine prescription and 36% take at least 4 drugs. However, it is known that up to 50% of drugs are not taken as prescribed. Many drugs in common use can cause problems and that adverse reactions to medicines are implicated in 5-17% of hospital admissions. Up to 10% of hospital admissions in the elderly population are medicines-related and research shows that as many as 50% of patients do not take their medicines as intended. This leads to difficult decisions, particularly with the frail elderly, whether to initiate or discontinue medication. Structured Medication Reviews (SMRs) are increasingly recognised as a cornerstone of medicines management, preventing unnecessary ill health, and avoiding waste. Involving patients in prescribing decisions and supporting them in taking their medicines is a key part of improving patient safety, health outcomes and satisfaction with clinical care.
Pharmacists working in primary care networks (PCNs) are playing a vital role in reviewing the medication of millions of patients with long-term conditions (such as diabetes, COPD and cardiovascular disease), to improve the care in the community. The statistics are staggering. Approximately 26million people in England have at least 1 long term condition which account for at least 50% GP appointments, and 10million patients have 2 or more long term conditions. . In September 2019, it was reported that a staggering 1 in 4
people in England (nearly 12 million people) are taking “addictive” prescription medicines such as antidepressants, sleeping pills and opioid painkillers, and tend to stay on them for 12 months and the highest prescribing rates tend to be in areas with greatest social deprivation.
SMRs are an essential process to enable a critical examination of a person’s medicines. Mutual agreement with the patient on their treatment, optimising the impact of their medicines, minimising the number of medication‑related problems whilst reducing waste is all part of this process.
Our pharmacists work closely with the GP surgeries to identify eligible patients who require an SMR. These tend to be from patient groups such as: care home residents; those diagnosed with frailty; complex polypharmacy patients; those with multiple long-term conditions and/or with high numbers of prescribed addictive pain management medication.
Our SMRs are customised and structured, providing critical examination of patients’ medicines. Our objective is to identify any issues with the treatment plan, optimise medicines (such as those who have long-term conditions or who take multiple medicines), minimise medication-related problems, reduce waste etc. Our medication reviews free up a lot of GP time and ensure patients are getting the best out of the medicines. The benefits include identifying medicines that could be stopped or require a dosage change, identifying new medicines that are required, reducing hospital admissions, reducing surgery visits, patients with long‑term conditions gain optimum outcomes from use of medicines and patient satisfaction.
We seamlessly work with practices to conduct medication reviews either over the phone, in person whilst accessing patient’s medication notes using clinical IT platforms such as EMIS; SystmOne or Vision. We carry out extremely thorough medication reviews by reviewing past medical histories and pathology reports and results. Using our expertise, we can re-authorise regular medication from the patient’s medication history or repeat templates by working seamlessly with your organisation.
Our Firza pharmacists really take the time, time that GP’s do not have, to really understand the wholistic journey of the patient. This includes checking relevant communications, medical history and newly prescribed medication from alternative healthcare settings, whilst at the same time highlighting any issues or tasks to the appropriate member of surgery staff. Whatever the surgery requires, we are here to help.
- IMPROVED QUALITY OF CARE reviewing polypharmacy for example within care homes, reduces the time spent by nurses administrating medication. This frees up more quality time for nurses to spend caring for each patient, improving the quality of life for residents. Within GP surgeries, time is also freed up for the multidisciplinary team as the Firza team work effortlessly with you to ensure the service you provide is efficient. GPs have more available time to allow them to focus on the more complex of patient cases.
- SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS As our experienced pharmacists take ownership of what they know best, structured medication reviews, medication wastage is reduced which in turn saves the NHS substantial amounts of money
- ALTERNATIVE SUPPORT SERVICES REDUCED As our pharmacists take control of your structured medication reviews, this should relieve pressures within the NHS in terms of for example emergency hospital admissions (for example for adverse reactions to medications); reduced oral nutritional support; reduced ambulance call out to name but a few.
- MEDICATION EXPERTS: Our highly skilled Firza pharmacists have many years of clinical experience which enables them to provide your organisation with the technical knowhow and compassion that every patient looks for. They are the medication experts, having in-depth pharmaceutical knowledge to support the rest of the multidisciplinary team.