Community pharmacist clinical portal enabled access to aspects of patients' primary and secondary care EHR: exploring the general public's views in NHS Tayside.
Stewart, Derek C.
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MACLURE, K., COULSON, D., THOMSON, G., ROBERTSON, D., MACDONALD, C., DREISCHULTE, T., RADLEY, A., MACLURE, A. and STEWART, D. 2017. Community pharmacist clinical portal enabled access to aspects of patients' primary and secondary care EHR: exploring the general public's views in NHS Tayside. Presented at the 46th European Society of Clinical Pharmacy symposium (ESCP): clinical pharmacy science meets practice - towards evidence-based clinical pharmacy services, 9-11 October 2017, Heidelberg, Germany.
Background and Objective: Community pharmacist access to aspects of patients' primary and secondary care electronic healthcare records (EHR) was piloted in NHS Tayside, Scotland. While policy makers and pharmacists are largely in favour of community pharmacist access, and there is an unmet service need based on GP workforce-workload evidence, the general public's perspectives of pharmacist EHR access had yet to be explored in Scotland. Objective: to determine the general public's perspectives of community pharmacist EHR access in NHS Tayside. Design: A survey methodology using paper-based questionnaires posted to a random sample of the general public in NHS Tayside (March-May 2017). Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics (IBM SPSS version_21_). The study was approved by university Ethical Review Committee. Results: Of 1000 surveys distributed, 205 returned, (27 undeliverable), providing a response rate of 21%. Although some were unsure (23%; n = 47/203), most indicated their community pharmacist would be better able to recognise problems with medicines/healthcare given access to patients' EHR (63%; n = 127/203), knew why each medicine was prescribed (74%; n = 150/203), and thought that a long-term condition would make access to patient records essential (73%; n = 148/203). Few respondents were against/were non-committal on community pharmacists having read or read-and-write access to EHR. For example, the Emergency Care Summary (ECS) (13%; n = 27/201) where, if access were permitted, respondents preferred that consent should not be required on each and every occasion: ECS (73%; n = 148/203). Many felt access to patients' EHR would mean the pharmacist was better informed so could provide better care (68%; n = 136/200) and that mistakes were less likely to happen (71%; n = 142/200). Conclusion: Findings from this survey recognised community pharmacists could contribute more to improving patient care and safety, as part of the wider healthcare team, if they were better informed through access to patients' EHR. Enabling treatment of common clinical conditions in community pharmacy brings benefits to patients while reducing pressure on GP appointments. While there remain areas of uncertainty, and this is a small albeit representative sample from one area in Scotland, this study demonstrates support for community pharmacist access to patients' EHR with a preference for a simplified consent process.