Transfer of Care Around Medicines – ensuring support with medicines for patients leaving hospital
Why are we doing it?
The transfer of care process is associated with an increased risk of adverse effects. 30-70% of patients experience unintentional changes to their treatment or an error is made because of a miscommunication. When some patients leave hospital, they can need extra support taking their prescribed medicines.
Original work in the North East showed that patients who see their community pharmacist after they’ve been in hospital are less likely to be readmitted and, if they are, will experience a shorter stay.
Patients tell us they don't always remember everything they are told in hospital, so it can be very helpful to have someone go through it again, discussing side effects and checking they understand.
Many AHSNs, including Wessex and the West of England, have worked with trusts and Local Pharmaceutical Committees to help set up a secure electronic interface between the hospital IT systems and PharmOutcomes, the community pharmacy system used in their area. This has further enhanced TCAM by providing patient data quickly and seamlessly to their community pharmacist.
What’s happening in Wessex?
The TCAM process is already helping patients manage their medicines across several Trusts in Wessex.
We at Wessex AHSN have an ambition to ensure that this pathway is available to patients in all Trusts across Wessex.
We will continue to assist with implementation of the TCAM pathway, improving medication safety, when patients are transitioning from hospital to home.