I’m just going to go out and say it. Community pharmacists are a very under utilised useful resource we have for commissioning care in the local area. I actually see them fit a similar position to Information Technology (IT), medication is ubiquitous and infiltrates into all aspects of services which we provide and needs to be given appropriate focus to make an important impact just like IT. Pharmacists have this paid service called MURs (Medicines Use Review) and it kind of goes like this
GPs for a little while have been asked to compare each other’s outpatient referrals rates. The idea is that this peer to peer open review will help us understand each others referral patterns. For some reason and due to a natural competitive nature of human behaviour, I think we have these peer to peer figures put to us to try to get us to refer less into hospital outpatients .
For those who know me, I frequently say the number 42 to my peers in relation to why patients get admitted to hospital. We know the answer, that they are in hospital but what is the question, what brought them in in the first place or more importantly can we predict their chance of admission in the future? Over the next few years we are going to get a deluge of companies claiming their risk stratification tool is the best thing since sliced bread and that their algorithms have prevented x% of admissions in the last year and saved the NHS this much. This blog is about my modest practical experiences on this matter for those commissioning groups who are looking at this area. In fact I don’t even discuss about any particular risk tool. Ironically this blog also won’t tell you the answer but give a few simple concepts and I hope some of it’s content will help you.