How much do you take on visits with you? One of my partners has two huge bags and is equipped to do minor surgery, another GP I know is a British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS) first responder and can deal with a major roadside trauma.
I carry only the bare minimum, yet we all have the same problem - keeping medications in date and making sure you don't run out of them.
DoctorsBagUK is the brainchild of a UK GP. It is a website where you can securely record what is in your bag and when it will expire. You can print off a list of what you are carrying and it warns you when it is about to go out of date. It is a secure site and is endorsed by the RCGP.
It costs £35 a year and registering is easy. It has a simple interface and is easy to use.
You can quickly enter all the drugs and equipment from your bag, though you need to take care that drug expiry dates and batch numbers are right. There are three categories to choose from: equipment, drugs and controlled drugs.
There is a new feature for controlled drugs that allows you to record the name of the patient you gave them to and when. Personally, I would like to see this feature for all the drugs as an audit trail.
One minor annoyance is that I would rather click a button saying I used a drug and have it reduce the amount left than update it with a lower number.
The reminder facility worked well. I received an email in plenty of time warning that drugs were about to expire. On the whole, I recommend it highly especially to individual GPs and small practices.
However there are potential improvements I would like to see before I try to convince my very large practice to buy it.
I would like to see a version that allowed tracking and reporting of drugs in multiple doctors' bags as well as in fridges from one log-in. It would also be good if it would email alerts to a central person such as a practice manager; enable tracking of PPA claims and volume pricing discounts.
However, I believe the system's creator Midlands GP Dr Mark Street is thinking about all of these.
- Dr Paul is a GP in Cheshire