Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Patient Safety Research Centre: Empowering older people to avoid medication-related harm: a co-produced community pharmacy solution

Dr Lisa Riste | University of Manchester
Competition Sponsor: United Kingdom Research and Innovation
Awardee Year: 2023


“Greater Manchester NIHR *Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC) facilitated two online co-design workshops in June & July 2021, which brought together people with vision impairments (VI) and community pharmacists to discuss medication safety. Attendees felt having /offering one-to-one consultations, to explore strategies together could help improve medication safety.

Pharmacists currently have no system in place to identify patients with VI (aside from people having a guide dog or using a long cane). Our audit in 5 Greater Manchester pharmacies, completed in Spring 2022 , found 48% people with a diagnosed VI were unknown to their pharmacy. However, patients expected pharmacists had access to medical information; at the same time, pharmacists expected patients to tell them if they had a VI.

Riste suggested the need for a system to allow pharmacists to easily and accurately identify patients with VI so they can offer 1:1 consultations. She suggested displaying the shaded-eye logo commissioned for The Partially Sighted Society, as an alert to highlight people at potential increased risk of medication safety errors, would also reducing issues that up to 96% text-based pop-ups are skipped in pharmacies due to ‘alert fatigue.’

After sourcing entrepreneurial funding from within University of Manchester from Masood Entrepreneurship Centres ‘Flying Starter Award’, and Faculty of Biology Medicine & Health ‘Researcher Collaboration Fund’, a team from Imago student software created FLAG-Me Vision. This is a new pharmacy alert system microservice that notifies pharmacy staff if a patient has a VI by displaying a logo on the patient’s medication record. Alongside this, the FLAG-Me Vision website collates access to information and strategies to improve medication safety that pharmacists can explore with their patients during 1:1 consultations.”

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