About Amelia Spimpolo
Amelia is a pharmacist who has worked at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust since 2011, she completed a diploma in Clinical Pharmacy practice at the University of Keele with distinction. In 2014 she joined the Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA) Team, completing a successful project deploying EPMA to inpatient areas. Amelia is now the EPMA Team lead and is looking to bring electronic prescribing to the Trust’s outpatient departments.
Problem: Outpatient prescribing processes are paper based, this leads to incomplete prescriptions, easily avoidable prescribing errors, such as prescribing medications patients have documented allergies to, and issues with medication supply due to illegible prescriptions. Patients have to physically deliver their prescription to the pharmacy to receive medications; this not only introduces a delay in supply, but for the large cohort of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients at the Trust this can cause problems as patients should be segregated from each other.
Solution: Amelia is looking to deploy her inpatient prescribing system (MedChart) to outpatient areas. This will allow the use of standard prescriptions for commonly used medications, use of clinical decision support warnings and improve prescription clarity. Furthermore, Amelia is looking for the option to send prescription requests directly to pharmacy electronically for more efficient work flow, and to support the segregation of CF patients.
Scale: The Trust saw more than 200,000 patients in outpatients last year and this project is looking to deploy electronic prescribing to all clinics across the two hospital sites.
Desired impact: The project is looking to reduce harm to patient from medication errors and improve efficiency of outpatient pharmacy services. Amelia believes outpatient electronic prescribing can support more seamless medicines reconciliation between inpatient and outpatient areas as well as allowing the Trust to maintain the segregation of CF patients to avoid cross infection risk.
Progress to date: The project is in the early phase of scoping and software testing.
“I joined the Fellowship programme because I was covering maternity leave with a greater requirement for public digital leadership within the Trust. I thought this was an area that I needed to develop. I was made aware of the Fellowship via the AHSN and I had spoken to an alumnus.
I’ve learned a lot about myself on the programme. I have realised that I am much better at thinking strategically than I thought I was. I am now much better connected with peers in the EPMA space.
During the time I have been on the programme I have become the Chair of the EPMA user group, which I put myself forward for. The user group hosts approximately 50 stakeholders from across the UK. We discuss improvements to the system and coordinate raising these with the supplier to make changes happen.
Looking ahead, I have an interest in Data – its power in improving patient care. One of the areas I will continue to explore is how we can get the data out of the system to make meaningful decisions.”