Pharmacy team at The Royal Oldham helps speed up discharge for patients

Pharmacy Team at The Royal Oldham
Pharmacy team at The Royal Oldham helps speed up discharge for patients
26 February 2019

The Pharmacy Team at The Royal Oldham Hospital are working with ward nurses and doctors to help speed up the time it takes for patients to be discharged from hospital.

The pharmacy team have launched a dedicated new surgical pharmacy discharge team, who are working closely with the ward staff across five busy surgical wards to ensure that patients who are ready for discharge receive their discharge prescriptions and return home more quickly.

The team have changed the way that they work and now host daily morning huddles to review and understand the day’s workload before working with staff on surgical wards to find out who is going home, to ensure that discharge prescriptions are written correctly, received promptly and dispensed as quickly as possible.

Hafsa Sattar, Senior Surgical Pharmacist from the Pharmacy team explains: “There are many factors involved in the discharge process from when a patient is told that they can go home. Since Pharmacy are at the end of that process and there can be many valid reasons for any possible delays in the patient’s discharge prescription being prepared, our Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians are working directly with ward doctors and nurses to help speed up this process and ensure that patients don’t have to wait too long for their discharge prescription and can return home more quickly.

“The main change that we’ve introduced is working on the ward from a mobile pharmacy trolley, which contains the most common medicines that are required for patients following surgery. Since we introduced these changes in September, over 70% of the discharge prescriptions we dispense are done at ward level and this speeds up the time it takes to get a patient’s prescription agreed, checked and dispensed, thereby reducing the time patients have to wait before going home.

“We’ve found the other benefit is the fact we are reducing the cost of dispensing medications that patients may already have at home. Being on the ward means we are able to communicate directly with patients to reconcile the medication they already have with the medication we need to dispense as part of their discharge prescription.”

The Pharmacy Team have also recruited a dedicated Medicine Management Assistant (MMA), who is responsible for managing and discharging the discharge prescriptions. It is hoped that this new role on the team will further help to speed up the time it takes to dispense discharge prescriptions for patients. The new MMA will work directly with patients to advise them about the medication they have received, to ensure that medication is taken correctly following discharge.

Feedback on the changes from ward staff and patients has been overwhelmingly positive, with many patients saying they are pleased about the fact they have to wait less time for their discharge prescriptions to be dispensed before they return home.