Community Pharmacy IT Group (CP ITG)

Community Pharmacy IT Group (CP ITG)

The Community Pharmacy IT Group first met in 2017, and has established workstream areas and begun its work. The group hopes to encourage the sector to get more engaged with the many upcoming digital changes.

Membership

The joint group has been formed by PSNC, NPA, RPS, CCA and AIMp and representatives from pharmacy system suppliers and NHS Digital will also participate in the group’s meeting.

This development brings together the former Pharmacy Voice IT Group and the PSNC IT Working group into a single stream of planning and activity. Significantly, the RPS is now also engaged, ensuring that the professional voice is properly factored in to all the IT group’s activities.

Richard Dean (AIMp representative and formerly chair of the Pharmacy Voice IT Group) was elected to chair the new group and David Broome (PSNC regional representative) was elected as vice chair.

Meetings

CP ITG meetings occur each quarter – usually in St Albans or London. Future dates are listed at the IT events page.

CP ITG’s sister virtual group, Community Pharmacy Digital Group also has early sight of new developments and technology and its views feed directly into CP ITG. The CPDG comes together virtually as a social networking email group.

Further CPDG members are welcomed and can be as involved as they wish. There is no requirement to attend meetings. Try taking part with CPDG by signing up at the CPDG page. After signing up, you can decide to unsubscribe from the group at any time.

Group's purpose

The purposes of the group include:

  • developing a shared vision for the optimum use of digital technology in community pharmacy in England;
  • providing a forum to discuss new digital technologies which may have a future impact on community pharmacy practice;
  • supporting the development of user-led recommendations which can be considered by suppliers;
  • providing a credible, respected forum for sector-wide engagement with NHS Digital and other national bodies on the vision, strategy and operational plans for delivering optimum use of digital technology in community pharmacy;
  • developing an implementation strategy for delivering optimum use of digital technology in community pharmacy and oversee a joint work-programme to deliver it; and
  • providing, through its member organisations, recommendations and advice to community pharmacy and other healthcare organisations.

The Chair, Richard Dean commented on the purpose:

“This new group, with its unique cross-sector membership, has an important task ahead of it: to develop a shared vision for the use of digital technology in community pharmacy in England; and to work together to implement changes that will benefit pharmacies, patients and the NHS.”

Work-streams (WS)

CP ITG established workstream areas are:

WS1 Supporting the development of PMR systems: This group will help with consideration of usability for pharmacies. This can then support further work by the group with NHS Digital, PMR system suppliers and contractors to develop a roadmap for development of PMR systems. Work should also include looking at PMR contracts, to see how they can reflect agreed best practice or providing guidance to contractors, if changes to standard contracts cannot be agreed. The group should support PMR systems by helping to identify useful future development options. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/systems 
WS2 Connectivity, business continuity arrangements and dealing with outages: this would include supporting the transition from N3 to Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), in terms of the sector starting to get the benefits of the new HSCN model. Also ensuring the technical architecture of pharmacy connectivity does not prevent access to key NHS web-based resources, e.g. the Leeds Care Record. Pharmacy and system supplier input should be incorporated into HSCN migration plans. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/itcontingency; and psnc.org.uk/connectivity
WS3 Supporting EPS and its enhancements: including Controlled Drugs, real-time exemption checking, Phase 4 pilot, improving the efficiency of eRD (electronic Repeat Dispensing) work flows in PMR systems, development of standard descriptors across PMR systems for the different stages of a script’s EPS journey and other issues identified in the EPS issues log. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/eps
WS4 Seeking a standard process for importing PMR data into a new PMR system: Workplan item description: the lack of a standard approach means there are clinical (including patient safety), ethical and legal risks related to the potential for data to be inappropriately transposed.
WS4 Seeking the development of interoperability/integration where appropriate: this could be between different community pharmacy systems (e.g. PMRs and Services Support platforms) and between community pharmacy systems and other health and care record systems. This would necessitate community pharmacy systems supporting the recording of interventions/services in a coded manner (using SNOMED CT) with a clear aspiration for computable dose instructions across all systems including EPS. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/interoperability and psnc.org.uk/dosesyntax
WS6 Developing a wider IT roadmap: to support useful and usable IT beyond PMR systems and EPS.
WS7 Supporting cyber security and Information Governance: supporting the use of minimum hardware specifications and the development of a revised Information Governance Toolkit for community pharmacy, NHS Digital training resources and developing guidance and resources for pharmacy teams on cyber security and information governance (including GDPR and handling patient requests for access to their data). Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/ig
WS8 Promote the ability to collate fully anonymised appropriate patient interaction data from all systems: to support the evaluation and further development of pharmacy services. Ensure that appropriate consent models continue to remain in place.
WS9 Supporting Electronic referral solutions: supporting the development of electronic referral solutions, for referral into and from community pharmacy. This would include coordination / consolidation of electronic hospital discharge processes, so a best practice approach is achieved which can be adopted across the country.
WS10 Supporting NHSmail: roll-out- work with NHS Digital to ensure completion of the rollout of NHSmail, promote its use by contractors and seek to improve usability, e.g. NHSmail migration of individual accounts to new nomenclature and the use of email address aliases to provide a user-friendly email address for day-to-day use. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/NHSmail
WS11 Tackling issues related to the practical use of pharmacy IT:  e.g. frequency of forced password changes, use of alternative credentials (alternatives to Smartcards) for users and changes to support improved patient safety.
WS12 Consider the development of apps and wearables in healthcare: consider the development of guidance and a principles documents for new apps covering, appropriate usage and security for data, promotion of all pharmacies equally etc. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/apps
WS13 Exploring WiFi: explore use of WiFi within pharmacies and develop guidance if necessary. Consider whether NHS funding for WiFi should be sought.
WS14 Supporting Digital literacy: Workplan item description: collate a central list of IT training opportunities available for all pharmacies and consider other ways to work with Pharmacy Digital Forum (PhDF), RPS, Health Education England and Faculty of Health Informatics to help boost the digital literacy of pharmacy staff. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/digitaltraining

Meeting papers: Agendas and minutes

Click on the links below to download the agendas and minutes. Minutes from the meetings will be published after they are approved at the following meeting.

CP ITG meeting agenda and papers workstream update (March 2018)

CP ITG meeting agenda and papers workstream update (June 2018)

Get involved

If you would like to feed into the CP ITG or share your updates about IT and digital issues then please don’t hesitate to contact one of the group’s organisers, Dan Ah-Thion or you can also sign-up to join the virtual Community Pharmacy Digital Group which helps inform CP ITG’s work with others. You can be involved as much or as little as you like, and can unsubscribe from that email group at any time.

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