Last summer NHS Tayside ran a one week Medicine Safety Week organised by Arlene Coulson, Lead Clinical Pharmacist (@leena1208) which was a great success. The news filtered down to Dumfries and Galloway via several mediums including Twitter. It became apparent that there was an appetite to run a similar venture for the Doonhamers and so a team was assembled and planning began. At that time the last week in January seemed very far away but boy did it come round fast and here we are on the last day able to report on our success…
Our first lunchtime lecture was hosted by Mr Jeff Ace who introduced the week and Dr Andy Longmate, National Clinical Lead for Patient Safety, who impressed upon us the importance of medicines safety by using real life patient stories and some hard hitting data. University of the West of Scotland nursing student, Sarah Inglis, was presented with a prize for designing the Medicine Safety Week logo, which can be seen here.
Karen Hills, Karen Stitt, Emma Harper and Emma McGaughie undertook 1 minute MEDucation sessions by the canteen stand with passing nurses to identify from information word bubbles the most critical aspects of medication safety which was the logo of the week – Right medicine, Right dose, Right patient, Right route, Right time (The 5 ‘Rs’)
Laura Graham, Lydia Burnett, Daryl Pattie and Abby McFarlane spent the afternoon on the patient/carer stand in the main entrance handing our ‘Not Sure? It’s Ok to Ask’ cards. Key patient quotes – “I sometimes wonder whether they all do me any good“, “I feel my medicines are getting routine and should probably be reviewed“, “what matters to me is that they make me feel better”
Day 2 focussed on High Risk Medicines. The lunchtime lecture was chaired by our Chief Pharmacist, Mr Mike Pratt, wearing his shower cap! There were four presentations on; safe insulin prescribing (Pam Young), anticoagulants (Artem Osipenko), vancomycin and gentamicin (Laura Graham) and antipsychotics (Wendy Ackroyd).
Once again the quartet of Karen Hills, Karen Stitt, Emma Harper and Sharron McGarver undertook 1 minute MEDucation sessions by the canteen stand with passing nurses to highlight the Learnpro training module on IV medicine administration. An afternoon drop in session was for nursing staff on high risk medicines with practical exercises on recognising antibiotics which contain penicillin, insulin administration, warfarin chart details and good practice on IV medicine use. Janice Cluckie & Gillian Burgess manned the patient/carer stand which highlighted that – “medicine wastage is a problem, if you stop using something then it all has to go in the bin”
The topic on day 3 was Polypharmacy and the lunchtime lecture was a joint presentation by Dr Angus Cameron, Medical Director and Laura Graham. Polypharmacy is a major issue particularly in an aging population with multiple co-morbidities and numerous ‘organ specific’ guidelines.
In the afternoon there was a Polypharmacy case study drop in session for nurses by prescribing support pharmacists Emily Kennedy, Gordon Loughran and Leanne Drummond in the education centre and Newton Stewart health centre. These were well attended by both primary & secondary care nurses and there were some useful discussions about cases and communication issues across the interface. Gillian Burgess and Wendy Ackroyd attended the patient/carer stand with some comments from discussion including “How do I know if it is Ok to keep taking medicines longterm?” and “I find reviews of medicines are really useful”.
The final ‘main topic’ of the week was Medicines Reconciliation, which has been recognised as one of the toughest patient safety issues to crack. Ken Donaldson (Chair of Safer Use of Medicines Network), Laura Graham and Janice Cluckie gave us a reminder of what Medicines Reconciliation is all about; the importance, the challenges and the way ahead. In the afternoon there was a drop in session highlighting some of the issues around med rec including examples to work through. Margaret Marshall and Dr Charles Knoery were able to attend the patient/carer stand and hand out more of the patient advice cards ‘Not sure? It’s OK to Ask about your medicines’.
Well that’s today so not much to say! At lunchtime we will be closing the week and presenting the Storyboard Competition winner, which I am delighted to announce, was “The introduction of an Orthopaedic Antimicrobial Ward Round” submitted by Susan Roberts on behalf of the Antimicrobial Management Team and Orthopaedic team.
All in all its been an excellent week with over 270 staff attending lectures and drop in sessions. The organising team would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to the ubiquitous Laura Graham (Clinical Pharmacist) who has gone above and beyond the call of duty by organising this week. She has worked tirelessly to ensure a good turnout at all events and, as you can see above, has presented almost every day – Thank You @lauralougraham7
So, when do we start organising the next one……