GPs and pharmacists have trialled new patient record-sharing software to improve care for patients with latent tuberculosis infection.
A pharmacy and GPs in Newham in East London have trialled the EMIS Web software, which made pharmacists able to view patient records and write to their GP.
Pharmacist Jignesh Patel said that during the pilot, they achieved a 100% success rate in completing LBTI treatment.
Mr Patel argued that the scheme ‘saves time and money and improves patient care’.
Latest data from the London Assembly shows that London’s health services alone spend around £30m every year on treating TB.
At seven times above the national average, Newham has the highest TB rate in the UK.
General manager of community pharmacy for EMIS Health Shanel Raichura said the trial was ‘genuinely a game-changer for community pharmacy in the UK’.
He added: ‘For the first time, the technology is available to support the pharmacy profession in its goal of providing new and enhanced clinical services beyond dispensing.’
How does it work?
Through the pilot, pharmacist Jignesh Patel has access to a shared patient record and can write to his local GP.
It helps them identify and treat the dormant form of the disease, which is associated to increased risks of getting TB.
When Mr Patel receives a prescription from his GP – who also sends him three months of repeat dispensing – he knows that the patient has started treatment for LTBI and can keep track of the changes.
He can also book follow-up GP appointments for the patient, if he sees fit, and send referrals to other healthcare providers.