About Emily Ward
Emily is a senior pharmacist at Chelsea and Westminster hospital 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 National Institution for Health Research CLAHRC NWL.
Emily is currently focused on using digital solutions to close the healthcare gap through improved communication of information about medicines between secondary and primary care providers and patients.
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 monthly). 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 of ICHP and further roll-out across the region is planned pending success.
Desired impact: The project will impact Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust in the following areas;
- Will 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. Software procurement and clinical safety case are underway in accordance with local procedures.