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Healthcare innovations put to the test by pharmacists from UCL School of Pharmacy

Members of the Department of Practice and Policy are part of two of 30 teams from across the UK whose innovative ideas to improve the quality of healthcare are being put to the test in 2013/14. The innovations, selected for the Health Foundation’s Shine programme, are testing new approaches to delivering healthcare that will either support patients to be active partners in their own care, improve patient safety or improve quality while reducing costs.

Professor Bryony Dean Franklin is leading a team at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust which will focus on improving patient safety through providing feedback to junior doctors on any prescribing errors identified by hospital pharmacists. The team will develop, implement and test a new system whereby pharmacists provide Foundation Year 1 (FY1) doctors with rapid, individualised feedback on the safety of their prescribing and any errors made that they have identified and rectified. Participants will also receive a fortnightly email detailing one or two common or important prescribing errors identified and how they can be prevented. The team, who are part of the Centre for Medication Safety and Service Quality, hope that this feedback will enhance continual improvement, leading to safer patient care.

Dr Yogini Jani is part of a team at UCLH conducting a project which will focus on improving patient safety through supporting patients to be active participants in their own care in order to reduce patient harm as a result of anticoagulant medication. The team will develop and test two innovations in partnership with patients, carers and ward nurses, as well as with anticoagulation clinic nurses, consultants, pharmacists and GPs:

• patient-led discharge summary ‘time outs’, which involve patients in reviewing the content of their discharge summary before they are discharged, to improve communication between the hospital and their GP

• patient-centred run charts, which show test results, drug doses and target levels in a pictorial format, to help inform and engage patients in their anticoagulant management plan

Dr Jane Jones, Assistant Director at the Health Foundation, said: “Innovative approaches are required to tackle the challenges that we are facing today in healthcare. We want to encourage innovators in the service to lead the way in thinking differently and to show how new approaches can deliver better healthcare.”

“This year we have chosen the 30 best innovative ideas, selected from a large number of applicants. The project teams will have the challenge of demonstrating the practicality of their ideas and show that they can improve quality and reduce costs with the potential to have high impact when scaled up across the UK. Our aim is to share and promote the most effective innovations to the clinical and managerial leaders of the UK healthcare system and policy-makers.”

This latest round of the Shine programme is the largest ever run by the Health Foundation. It has 30 project teams, selected from a high number of quality applications from across the health service.

Over 15 months, the teams will develop and test their approaches, put their ideas into practice and gather evidence about what works and what doesn’t. Each team will receive up to £75,000 of funding and a package of support from the Health Foundation.

By the end of 2014 the Health Foundation will have learnt about the different innovations, including those that have the potential to be spread more widely across the UK.

Page last modified on 11 jul 13 15:03