Information and Communication
59. Patients and their representatives consistently highlighted the importance of their pharmacist having access to the information needed to support the delivery of an effective service. They stressed that a pharmacist should be seen as a healthcare professional who, together with the rest of the pharmacy team, would be bound by the same code of confidentiality that applied elsewhere in the NHS. There is also a growing recognition in fellow professionals that sharing of relevant patient based information will enhance pharmaceutical care. The provision of role based access by pharmacists to the Emergency Care Summary (ECS) and to the developing Key Information Summary (KIS) needs to be part of the implementation of the eHealth Strategy. This also applies to the inclusion of pharmacy in the transfer of information and associated medicines reconciliation when a patient moves between service sectors. We recommend that pharmacy should be seen as a key player and participant in these developments.
60. Within the community pharmacy, the development of the Pharmacy Care Record, which records the pharmaceutical care needs and provision for patients, should ensure that the information contained within it can be readily shared with other systems, and that other systems can feed information into it as appropriate. This will be an important contribution to the emerging proposals for a single, shared medication record that moves with the patient and is kept up to date by all those professionals with whom the patient has contact. Some patients will want to have ready access to and hold their own copy of that record, either in paper or electronic form, enhancing patient ownership of their own care.
61. The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 requires health care providers to ensure patients have the necessary information and support to participate as fully as possible in their health care, and that all reasonable steps are taken to provide that information and support in a form that is appropriate to the patient's needs. We welcome the Patient Access to Information on Medicines (PATIM) workstream, initiated within the NHS inform programme, which seeks to identify how information and approaches to communication could be improved to increase patient understanding of how to better manage their medicines in a safe and effective way. Health literacy is a key consideration when looking to provide information on medicines. For example, the NHSScotland Teach-back technique has been shown to be a useful tool to help check a patient's understanding of the information they have received. It is important, as recognised in PATIM, that other aspects including language, hearing and sight loss, learning disability, religion and belief are taken into account in tailoring medicines information to the needs of individuals.
Email: Elaine Muirhead