Joint replacement patients benefit from improvements

JOINT replacement patients at the trust are being supplied with discharge medications they need soon after surgery, thanks to a new initiative.

Staff at the trust have made improvements to the process for patients who have had surgery at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The joint replacement team have worked with pharmacy and the digital programme team to create a quicker, more efficient way of preparing prescriptions for patients.

Using a new electronic patient records system being rolled out across the trust, the teams have created several different drug packs for medications needed after surgery.

Dr Mo Helmy, senior house officer in the joint replacement unit, said: “We routinely prescribe medication for all elective joint replacement patients before surgery. This can take a considerable amount of time to do.  However, it meant protocols were followed in a safe and timely way.”

“Recently a new electronic prescribing and medicines administration system (EPMA) was rolled out in the unit. We worked with the digital programme team and pharmacy to create order sets on the EPMA system which would automatically produce pre-specified medications.”

Drug packs have been created for routinely used medications such as analgesia, laxatives and post-op antibiotics – meaning that set prescriptions are automatically created when these packs are selected.

Dr Helmy added: “This has significantly reduced our prescribing time.

“It shows that by working together with different teams, we can make beneficial changes that ultimately improve the care we offer our patients.

“This is just the beginning and potentially with support of other departments we could have packs for all common conditions.

“This would save time and mean we always follow the most up to date guidance.”

Caption, left to right: Clinical applications analyst Nav Amanat, clinical pharmacy services manager Jane Robson, joint replacement specialist nurse Debra Caden and Dr Mo Helmy.

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