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Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
PharmacyFace matches community pharmacy services to the needs of their community to encourage medicine adherence and heathy lifestyles.
Overview of Innovation:
PharmacyFace uses search engine marketing and online booking to make gaining healthcare support from a pharmacy easier. As many pharmacies are becoming more aware of the need to be 'more service' rather than dispensary-driven, PharmacyFace makes this process easier for the business and patient.

This offers an alternative solution to the increasing pressures on GP surgeries capacity and a viable option to out-of-hours hubs to direct relevant customers to community pharmacy.

The PharmacyFace online booking widget is easy to implement on the pharmacies website with one line of code. We can also develop websites for pharmacies which do not yet have one. Any service provided by that particular pharmacy can be added to their booking widget, with private / NHS services clearly labelled.

Further plans include the ability for the pharmacist to send an MUR proposed booking time out to their patient through their preferred channel (text or email); ability for a patient to cancel and reappoint a booking through their mobile/online; integration with popular PMR systems; app enabling the public to locate/book in with the pharmacy convenient to them based on location.

The pharmacy gains insights on how well their current offerings are matched to public need, eg whether staffing levels/appointment capacity is correct at peak times and whether they are losing any customers as a reult of this. Pharmacist can easily locate, cancel and move a booking, create linked bookings rapidly (eg. smoking cessation or weight management courses).

The PharmacyFace system will also deliver open-ended questioning techniques / training videos which can help pharmacists to gain better customer 'buy in' to medicine adherence. (Evidence-based guidance to NICE guidelines).
Eg. Suggested questions to parents of a child with asthma ‘how is your child sleeping’ and ‘how are you sleeping as a result’. This creates a different conversation instead of focusing only on the physical aspects of taking medication. How much exercise does the child get? Has he/she ever felt excluded from exercise or social activities he/she would like to do as a result of the condition? It is proposed that linking these real-life priorities can lead to the patient and parents of the patient understanding the specific benefits to them of medication adherence. The pharmacy sends an online review request to customer to receive feedback which can form the basis of a personal endorsement of the pharmacy with customers online contacts.
Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
Similar Content3
Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
PharmacyFace matches community pharmacy services to the needs of their community to encourage medicine adherence and heathy lifestyles. 

 prevents illness, manages long term conditions, promotes healthy living and effective self-care whilst reduc
Overview of Innovation:
PharmacyFace uses search engine marketing and online booking to make gaining healthcare support from a pharmacy easier.  As many pharmacies are becoming more aware of the need to be 'more service' rather than dispensary-driven, PharmacyFace makes this process easier for the business and patient.

This offers an alternative solution to the increasing pressures on GP surgeries capacity and a viable option to out-of-hours hubs to direct relevant customers to community pharmacy.

The PharmacyFace online booking widget is easy to implement on the pharmacies website with one line of code. We can also develop websites for pharmacies which do not yet have one.  Any service provided by that particular pharmacy can be added to their booking widget, with private / NHS services clearly labelled.

Further plans include the ability for the pharmacist to send an MUR proposed booking time out to their patient through their preferred channel (text or email); ability for a patient to cancel and reappoint a booking through their mobile/online; integration with popular PMR systems; an app which enables the public to locate and book in with the pharmacy convenient to them based on location.

The pharmacy gains insights on how well their current offerings are matched to public need, eg whether staffing levels/appointment capacity is correct at peak times and whether they are losing any customers as a reult of this. Pharmacist can easily locate, cancel and move a booking, create linked bookings rapidly (eg. smoking cessation or weight management courses).

The PharmacyFace system will also deliver open-ended questioning techniques / training videos which can help pharmacists to gain better customer 'buy in' to medicine adherence. Evidence-based guidance to NICE guidelines.
Eg. Suggested questions to parents of a child with asthma ‘how is your child sleeping’ and ‘how are you sleeping as a result’.  This opens up a different conversation instead of focusing solely on the technical aspects of taking the medication. How much exercise does the child get?  Has he/she ever felt excluded from exercise or social activities he/she would like to do as a result of the condition?  It is proposed that linking these real-life priorities can lead to the patient and parents of the patient understanding the specific benefits to them of medication adherence. The pharmacy then sends an online review request to the parents to receive feedback which could be posted via NHS Choices, social media etc. 
Stage of Development:
Close to market - Prototype near completion and final form may require additional validation/evaluation and all CE marking and regulatory requirements are in place
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Long term conditions: a whole system, person-centred approach / Wellness and prevention of illness / Education, training and future workforce / Wealth creation / Digital health / Innovation and adoption / Patient and medicines safety / Person centred care
Benefit to NHS:
57 million GP appointments/annum are taken up with minor ailments in England. 1 in 6 hospital visits could be prevented with correct adherence to medication, with 30-50% medications estimated to be taken sub-optimally (costing £1.42Billion/annum - R Pharm Soc.)  GP’s would like to spend more time with patients with complex physical and/or mental health conditions but capacity is an issue.
 
Greater 24/7 access for patients to an alternative to GP surgeries for minor ailments, leading to cost savings and greater capacity. Faster access to a community healthcare professional for appropriate signposting which can prevent health conditions worsening and resulting in costly hospitalisations (by improving digital access to community pharmacy).  Potential to connect community pharmacy and community health trainers who could deliver healthy lifestyle support within pharmacy branches which have less capacity to offer servcies beyond dispensing at present and have under-utilised consultancy rooms. (Initial discussions have taken place with healthcare trainers.)  

An opportunity to show community pharmacists that helping support customers to make healthy lifestyle choices will benefit their reputation commercially through customer loyalty, word of mouth and OTC sales, improve job satisfaction and staff retention, creating longer term buy-in.  This long-term buy in with community pharmacy can help to unlock pharmacy as an 'untapped resource' in the prevention of LTC through healthy lifestyle and better medicine optimisation. Training support for on effective questioning (during MURs) for speciific conditions (following NICE guidelines and evidence-based) will help to build confidence and community pharmacies capacity to unlock better medicine adherence amongst their customers who may have felt they have their condition under control (e.g. asthma) when behavioural evidence suggests otherwise (eg. high use of reliever inhalers, low use of preventer inhalers).

We also have plans to increase awareness via schools etc.  Enabling lead nurses the time to book phone time online (and eventually face to face screen time) with a pharmacist enables them to collate questions from their colleagues regarding patients medications and get them answered by the pharmacy they have an existing relationship with in a more efficient manner, promoting better medication adherence and reducing risk of more complex and costly problems later on.
Initial Review Rating
3.80 (2 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
Better access 24/7 to advice on medications,  Self-employed who have avoided blood tests, blood pressure checks etc.as they do not want to 'lose a days work' can book in for an appointment with the pharmacy able to provide the service they require.
 
Expansion of PharmacyFace sales and pharmacy support staff will increase employment and wealth creation within the area. We also use local printing, graphic design and web development personnel to maximise the economic benefit in the region whrn commercially viable to do so.
Current and planned activity: 
We have had meetings with pharmacies in Coventry, Solihull and Birmingham who have expressed a desire to have the PharmacyFace widget implemented on their website. Tested training staff in a pharmacy showed very few problems with using the PharmacyFace system.  We are also developing websites currently for two pharmacies who wish to use PharmacyFace. Two pharmacies wish to use the system for their travel vaccinations initially whilst they bring in other services. Having had initial conversations with community pharmacies in Walsall we are now starting to gain personal referrals to other pharmacies in that area.  All pharmacy websites using PharmacyFace to have SSL certificates to improve security of any emails customers choose to send the pharmacy. The majority of community pharmacy websites do not currently have this.
Build network of pharmacies using the system in the region through email marketing combined with useful content to build awareness, direct contact/sales. 
 
What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
Currently under advisement.
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
high
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
3 years +
Ease of scalability: 
2
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Overview summary:
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals worked with North of Tyne Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPT) and Pinnacle Health to develop an electronic referral template using PharmOutcomes. Hospital pharmacy staff used the system successfully in the North of Tyne area to refer patients to their community pharmacist if considered beneficial after leaving hospital. 
Challenge identified and actions taken :
Evidence shows that 5-8% of unplanned admissions are due to medication issues and when patients are prescribed a new medicine, a third are non-adherent after 10 days and 30-50% of medicines are not taken as intended.  However on-going community pharmacist support has been shown to improve medicines adherence. 
In an attempt to improve medicine adherence, improve patient safety and improve patient outcomes, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals worked with North of Tyne Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPT) and Pinnacle Health to develop an electronic referral template using PharmOutcomes. Hospital pharmacy staff used the system successfully in the North of Tyne area to refer patients to their community pharmacist if considered beneficial after leaving hospital. The AHSN NENC supported the development and implementation of this framework across the region. The project is now gaining traction nationally.
Impacts / outcomes: 
Through active communication and participation in the national AHSN Medicines Optimisation network this work has been established as an exemplar model of communication between secondary care and community pharmacy.
  • Seven acute trusts are now making referrals to a potential 504 community pharmacies for follow up support with their medication after discharge from hospital;
  • Over 750 patients have received follow up support since the initiation of this service in July 2014;
  • Community pharmacists have reported nearly 90% of patients had a better understanding of their medicines as a result of their consultation and would be therefore more likely to adhere to their prescribed medicine regimes.
  • The project team have won two prestigious HSJ awards in 2015, in the categories for  ‘Enhancing Care by Sharing Data and Information’ and ' Most effective adoption and diffusion of best practice'
  • The work has directly contributed to the production of a Hospital referral to community pharmacy toolkit, distributed nationally by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society;
  • The Transfer of Care work initiated in the AHSN NENC has attracted national interest and has been adopted in a number of areas throughout the country.  
Which local or national clinical or policy priorities does this innovation address:
Health and well-being; patient experience.
Supporting quote for the innovation from key stakeholders:
At the HSJ Awards the project was described by judges as a "beautiful, simple solution that works...developed by clinical leaders who saw potential in existing functionality". The judges went on to praise how the Trust “genuinely demonstrated adoption and diffusion of innovative practice across the region” and that "Every hospital should be doing this."
Plans for the future:
  • Outcome measures collected through PharmOutcomes will help inform the direction and development of the project.
  • Further rollout of the project nationally will continue
  • The e-referral system is being further developed to involve GPs, doctors and nurses as well as pharmacists.
  • Development of Trust systems will facilitate the auto-population of the referral form, further speeding up the process.
  • The evidence base will be further enhanced through publication to the BMJ of research being undertaken by academics at Durham and Manchester Universities.
Tips for adoption:
Trust staff need the buy-in of community pharmacies.
The NENC region uses PharmOutcomes for E-referral and it helps if systems are complementary across regions but this is not a pre-requisite for the methodology to be adopted across Trusts.
Contact for further information:
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Overview summary:
This initiative aimed to improve understanding of the challenges pharmacies face in the adoption of technology enabled care services (TECS) focussing on efficient medicines utilisation and adherence.  
 
20 pharmacies from North Staffordshire were approached with 17 agreeing and 5 remaining through to completion.  The patient cohort was defined as those with prescriptions for COPD, asthma, diabetes type 2, diuretics, NSAIDs or back pain with protocols developed by the WMAHSN LTC Network.

Further details on the study can be accessed here
Challenge identified and actions taken :
The challenge was how pharmacists might utilise TECS to add value to the delivery of the New Medicine Service (NMS) and Medicines Use Review (MUR) and Prescription Intervention Service at the point of dispensing, in the integrated care of patients. 

The aim was to improve patient convenience, experience and increase understanding of their conditions and thus improve patient participation in self care with subsequent clinical benefits and associated cost benefit in medication usage. 

The project focussed on:
  • Recruitment of community pharmacies then agreeing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) detailing expectations under the project.  The MoU included a bursary of £500 for participation in training, identification and recruitment of patients, data capture and evaluation (Appendix 1);
  • Training to pharmacists followed by the licensing of pharmacies for Florence simple telehealth with ongoing on site support from local clinical telehealth facilitators and the Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC);
  • Protocols in the specified LTC's providing TECS introduction pathways (Appendix 2)
  • Florence and Manage Your Health aide memoirs
  • Baseline survey of participating pharmacies at project inception and a post participation survey (Appendix 3)
  • Patient feedback on Florence 
  • Patient feedback on the Manage your health app 
Impacts / outcomes: 
This was designed and delivered as a discovery project. As a consequence, the impacts and outcomes are limited to learning.  Based on critical reflection and consideration of the evaluation and surveys completed as project actions the project team identified where the project could have been more impactful in terms of retaining the participation of those pharmacies that expressed an interest. Then better retention and participation rates could have secured higher incidence of TECS adoption from the cohort of patients covered by the project.  These conclusions and the resulting recommendations recognise the small numbers involved and that further exemplar projects would be required before at scale roll out could be considered.
 
17 community pharmacies expressed an interest and progressed to training and receipt of the MoU and were deemed to be fit to participate – five of these accredited pharmacies went on to complete the project.  The number of interactions (contacts with patients) reached 88 realising 93 incidences of patients becoming engaged with or interested in TECS (patients could elect for either / both Florence and the Manage Your Health app).  The demographics of the patients reached during the project shows 5.7% (5) to be children (<20years old) and 19.3% (17) to be older adults (> 59 years old).  With an even distribution of participation by gender (42M / 46F) and by condition the willingness of patients to consider TECS when introduced by the pharmacist could be considered high as the 88 patients – based on participation data collected at the pharmacy – converted or stated an intention to convert to simple telehealth or an app.
 
The conversion rate supported the hypothesis that community pharmacies are in a position to introduce and generate adoption of TECS during their participation in a single patient focussed care plan.  However, if the project was to be replicated more attention would be required in the recruitment and preparation of the participating community pharmacy teams.
 
  • The MoU in itself was helpful for recording and agreeing the basis of participation but it could have contained more on the objectives and outcomes expected from participating pharmacies;
  • Experience showed that while the strategic involvement of the pharmacist(s) was fundamental to placing the project in context for the pharmacy the pharmacy staff (including counter staff) were better placed to manage the interactions with patients on the practicalities of enrolling with Florence or the downloading and then utilisation of the Manage Your Health app;
  • Training for the pharmacy team would be better delivered out of hours or by remote delivery (e.g. skype) as the day to day operations of the pharmacy made the delivery of training during opening hours problematic with frequent breaks in the training being required and on some occasions the training could not be completed within the time slot allotted for it;
  • The community pharmacies without exception had sufficient private space in which to interact with patients but they would benefit from more mobile IT to improve the content and value of the interactions e.g. by demonstrating TECS on an iPad to an interested customer;
  • In project planning, more could be done in helping community pharmacies understand patient flows and when this type of activity might best be done – during the project more than 40% of activity took place on a Friday with 20% on a Wednesday;
  • Survey at inception showed a healthy degree of scepticism on behalf of pharmacists as to the demand TECS would make on their colleagues but that TECS was an important and legitimate part of the pharmacy role. They agreed that the introduction of TECS into patient care was desirable and likely to improve their outcomes – the post participation survey illustrated that pharmacist time with patients was the key factor in patients adopting TECS (within the constraints of the project offer) and that TECS should be part of the pharmacy menu of services; and
  • Future initiatives would benefit from a much closer link with the outcome responsibilities placed on community pharmacies for NMS, MUR and the prescription intervention service as the project did not provide any causal link from the pharmacy activity to medication utilisation, adherence of cost effectiveness in prescribing.
 
It is worth noting that the demographics of the patient cohort recruited suggested significant levels of participation by older age groups generally considered to be ‘digitally excluded’. However, in the post participation telephone survey – albeit for small numbers – pharmacists reported patients not having a mobile phone (telehealth) or a smart phone or tablet (Manage Your Health app) as only occasional incidental occurrences.
Which local or national clinical or policy priorities does this innovation address:
Care and Quality Health and Well Being Health Education England’s Building a Digital Ready Workforce. https://hee.nhs.uk/our-work/developing-our-workforce/building-digital-re...
Supporting quote for the innovation from key stakeholders:
During the post participation survey the following comments were noted based on conversations with the participating pharmacists and pharmacy teams:
 
“Patients felt that the info on the Apps was reliable rather than just looking on the internet”
 
“I can see the benefits of using technology ………… new launches always take time, cannot expect new service to be instantly successful.  Once established and embedded expect it to be more successful”
 
“It would be good to have a self-service portal (in the pharmacy) i.e. tablet/lap top for patients to use to become familiar/comfortable”
 
“Pharmacist would have liked more telephone support”
 
“Delivering healthcare technology is easier than pharmacists believe …..”
 
“(The) Service is easy to sign up to but (I) just haven’t got the time. …….. apologies for lack of participation but owners not prepared to commit to staffing required”
 
“Try to link patients’ info and needs with the pharmacy from GPs.  Create better awareness – leaflets, posters, media and promotional material – poster/leaflet to encourage patient/customers and make aware
 
Please note:  These references are from notes taken during the post participation telephone survey and have been presented out of the context of that survey and the individual discussions that took place and, in some instances, represent multiple responses on the same or similar themes.
Plans for the future:
The learning from the initiative was substantial and consequently there would need to be significant redesign before it was run again.  There was much to commend the project recognising that it ran for a short time and yet the take up or conversion rate to the TECs offer was in itself significant and therefore of value in the context of what the project hoped to achieve.
 
The case for another initiative involving pharmacies and pharmacy teams is strong providing there is a greater emphasis placed on how their investment of time in introducing TECs impacts positively on pharmacy relative and important outcomes.  There is a valid argument for developing and introducing a currency for this work that is of value to pharmacies.
 
Since this initiative, Healthy Living Champions have been introduced into all pharmacies in Northern Staffordshire and it would make good sense to have them involved in this type of initiative in the future. Healthy Living Champions have a role to promote Public Health messages.
Tips for adoption:
The initiative brought home the importance of securing senior pharmacy managers support for the community pharmacists’ wider role, recognising that they need protected time to be effective.

Community pharmacists are motivated to use their knowledge to help patients, and projects like this one should capitalise on this.

If locations, such as pharmacies, are to be the focal point of introducing TECs to patients and the public promotion and support material for use on site is important.
 
Much is assumed about the digital awareness of professionals and employees in health and health care services – the initiative identified that greater digital awareness created by other programmes may help the future recruitment of willing participants from within clinical and healthcare teams and from the public and patients.
Contact for further information:
Tania Cork
Chief Operating Officer
North Staffs & Stoke LPC
taniacork@northstaffslpc.co.uk 
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