TMS recently caught up with one of our PTS users to hear his thoughts on the system 18 months after it was installed by us. Steve Carvell is the Pharmacy IT Manager at University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust.
Hi Steve. How long have you been using PTS and how were you managing your prescriptions before?
Hi there. We've been using PTS for about 18 months and we have it rolled out across two of our hospitals, Leicester General Hospital and Glenfield, and are in the process of rolling it out at Leicester Royal at the moment. Before we used PTS we relied on staff to record patient details and the progress of the prescription etc. on paper.
And how have things changed?
With PTS we can actually enter the patient into the database and generate a label and the whole of the prescription process is recorded in the system so obviously this saves a lot of time. The benefits of the system are being able to identify the number of patients who have come in, if we get a phone call we can identify where we are with that prescription, and we've been able to provide wards with access to the intranet page so they can check if their prescriptions are ready. This has reduced phone calls to the pharmacy increasing available time to actually dispense prescriptions.
Any other advantages?
A benefit that we weren't particularly expecting came when we received written complaints from members of the public saying it's taken so many hours to do their prescription. Using PTS we've been able to look on the system and check what time the prescription came in and how long it took to complete. And for every complaint we've been able to respond positively saying its only taken 30 minutes or an hour, when the perception for whatever reason is it's taken 5, 6 or 7 hours. So we've been able to prevent any undue blame being passed on to the pharmacy which is a good thing.
That's great! And how has the response from the staff been following the introduction of PTS to the pharmacy?
We've had a good response from the staff to the system. At first as with any new system you get some resistance to change, but when the progress calls were pretty much eliminated that turned around quickly and helped us sell the system to the staff. It also helped when members of our pharmacy were looking around trying to find a prescription and they'd been able to look on the system and quickly see who was working on it and what stage it was at, so they got to recognise the first hand benefits they were getting from the system.
You mentioned earlier you were planning to expand PTS to another pharmacy in the trust?
Yes we hope to complete the roll it out to Leicester Royal in the next few months and expect to see the same improvements there. We're also planning to expand what we use the system for: one of the next things we'd like to do is begin recording dispensing errors in the system. There is the functionality to do this at the moment as you know but we haven't actually done it as yet.
Would you mind briefly describing what this does?
If the checker of the prescription discovers an error they can record what the error was and the time of the error, who's done it etc. and that's a new piece of audit information which is very useful to us.
Thank you, Steve.
Steve kindly offered this interview during his tenure as Pharmacy IT Manager at University Hospitals Leicester. The system has since been introduced successfully to Leicester Royal and a fourth pharmacy in the trust.