When a patient is discharged from hospital information about the medicines they need and the care they have received is sent to their GP. This is essential to support the patient’s ongoing care.
Until recently discharge information was mainly a paper-based process that was time consuming and could mean the patient was discharged long before the discharge advice note reached the GP.
Now the process is available as an online service. Health staff in hospital can use the Welsh Clinical Portal to send vital information instantly to the patient’s GP. The patient can also ask for the information about their medications to be sent to their selected community pharmacy.
This service is known as Medicines Transcribing and E-discharge (MTeD) and is functionality built into the Welsh Clinical Portal, which is the digital workspace for hospital-based health professionals. We spoke to staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd about the Medicines Transcribing and e-discharge service.
Alison Jones is the Pharmacy Patient Safety lead at the hospital. She told us about the benefits that the hospital has realised since introducing the system.
“Hospital discharge communication is essential to good, safe and timely patient care” she told us “The MTeD platform within the Welsh Clinical Portal enables timely information between the hospital, GP and community pharmacy. The system enables a new way of multidisciplinary working with the recording and sharing of electronic information from the point of hospital admission and then throughout the patient journey to post discharge”.
Why is this important? Medicines Transcribing (MT) will improve medicines management by allowing hospital pharmacists to transcribe patient medications electronically, so taking the information from the drug chart at the bottom of the bed and putting this on the Welsh Clinical Portal. This will support the patients from admission to discharge.
Whilst e-Discharge (eD) will enable clinicians to record a summary about a patients hospital stay which can be electronically sent to the GP.
MTeD has been implemented in several wards across Ysbyty Gwynedd and clinicians are finding the system extremely useful.
“The system is really easy to use” Claire Bishop, one hospital doctor, told us “we all had the training but we really didn’t need it, it’s like using your smart phone.” She added “There is a section on the take home prescription which allows us to put what medications have been stopped and this is almost as important as saying which medications the patients are still on”
Elen Jones is a pharmacist working in the children’s ward. She highlighted how MTeD had been a game changer for her department “Previously we used a paper discharge form. Our target was to get this information to GPs within 7 days. With the paper discharges we only managed 6%, however, since changing to MTeD we have now seen a rise to 96% of discharges reaching the GP within 7 days.”
Alison Jones continued “A combined discharge letter and medication information can be sent to the GP four hours after a patient is discharged from hospital. This makes things safer and more auditable which is clear for future care.”
To date MTeD has been implemented in Bryn Beryl (the community hospital), the Paediatrics ward, Medical Admissions and 6 medical wards at Ysbyty Gwynedd with a further roll out plan being implemented.