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MedEconomics: Software eases task of medication monitoring

EMIS users will find a feature on their system that simplifies drug checks, says Dr Geoff Smith.

Since early April, we have used a new software tool that helps to improve the treatment and monitoring of patients who are taking drugs with potentially serious side-effects.

Medication Monitoring, uploaded to all EMIS PCS and LV users' systems, offers several new searches written directly into the Popman quality points system. These run daily at the same time as the quality searches and pick up patients who are on medication where monitoring is a clinical safety issue. The searches are based on guidelines for these drugs.

Failsafe checks

This is really a failsafe safety check for current procedures but could be used exclusively instead of current monitoring.

If the patient is on Methotrexate, the search checks that they have had a regular FBC, and if it has not happened, then the patient details go on a list for the surgery to recall.

Meanwhile, if the patient is seen at the surgery after the search, a warning pops up during the consultation to say they are late for their blood check, etc. It is therefore possible to deal with this while the patient is in the surgery.

Medication Monitoring can identify likely diabetics based on their last random glucose.

This has already found one of our patients to be diabetic after they had slipped through the net because an abnor-mal glucose had not been acted on.

Most surgeries already have some method of recalling patients on drugs that need monitoring. We used to search every couple of weeks at best and use patient diaries and recall procedures.

Having all of these tools located in one place, searches running daily and the added benefit of individual, up to date patient warnings is a major time saver and clinical safety improvement.

- Dr Smith is a GP in Edinburgh.

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