About Emily Ward
Emily is a senior pharmacist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust who has been practicing in general and acute medicine for more the last 15 years. Emily has developed a strong interest in research driven improvement while undertaking an MSc in Advanced Pharmacy Practice at UCL and has pursued this interest through secondments to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Research team and as a Project Manager for Medicines Optimisation at the National Institution for Health Research CLAHRC NWL.
Emily is the winner of the 2020 Digital Pioneer Fellowship Impact Award.
Problem: Patients are at an increased risk of medication-related harm when returning to the community following a hospital admission, due to failures in communication. Miscommunication often results in inadequate or inappropriate provision of medication and inconsistent messaging around the reasoning for changes and onward plans. This has significant safety and cost implications. In addition, the use of fax machines is no longer appropriate and needs to be phased out.
Solution: Implement a web-based portal to share information securely with community pharmacists and facilitate timely feedback on action (or inaction) to improve the process and evaluate impact.
Scale: Emily is the lead for the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital site (approximately 3000 non-elective discharges per month). Currently sending approximately 150 referrals per month using fax machines and anticipate that the number of referrals will increase significantly through this digital implementation project. This work is concurrently running at other hospital sites in Northwest London with support from Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP), and further roll-out across the region is planned pending success.
Desired impact: The project impact Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust in the following areas;
- Reduce avoidable medication related harm and subsequent need for hospital or GP attendance.
- Improve patient experience and access to information about medicines.
- Reduce medicine waste.
- Build stronger working relationships between primary and secondary care pharmacists that will provide a foundation for further collaborations aimed at improving patient care.
Progress to date: Manual process (co-designed by stakeholders including patients) continues as standard practice. A memorandum of understanding with ICHP has been signed and milestones agreed. At the start of the Fellowship programme, they were not doing any referrals via TCAM. As at December 2019 the TCAM intervention was generating 50-60 referrals per week, exceeding their original target of 40. The traction achieved means they have sent sufficient referrals to engage Community Pharmacy colleagues and to enable the project to now test whether the pathway works. Procurement and a clinical safety case are underway in accordance with local procedures.
“I joined the Fellowship programme because I saw getting more engaged in digital as a priority. The elements of the programme that created the most value for me were my Action Learning Set group because it was good to engage with other parts of the system. This has enabled me to have stakeholder discussions in a more nuanced and sensitive way giving me a bit more credibility. The course material provided a fantastic variety of topics and the mentors have been fabulous. I now have a greater awareness of strategic imperatives. I’ve also improved how I pitch.
My experience as a fellow improved my confidence and competence to engage with digital solutions to improve patient care within my clinical role. My organisation has been very supportive of my participation and this has been a great way to raise my profile as a clinician who digitally engaged. I have been awarded the Chelsea and Westminster staff award for pharmacist of the year for the TCAM project. Following the recent implementation of Cerner at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, I am now looking forward to taking a more digitally focussed approach to research and improvement within pharmacy and the clinical services we provide.”