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. It brings together pharmacy representatives with IT policy makers and system suppliers to discuss such changes.
Membership, joining and attending
The joint group has been formed by PSNC, NPA, RPS, CCA and AIMp and representatives are sent from each. Pharmacy system suppliers, NHSBSA, NHS Digital, NHSE&I and NHSX also participate in the group’s meetings.
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.
System supplier attendance: Pharmacy patient medication record (PMR) system suppliers and pharmacy service suppliers attend the meetings. Other pharmacy system suppliers (or prospective suppliers) may also attend and may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details about the meeting how to join.
Meetings and dates
CP ITG meetings
CP ITG meetings occur each quarter (11am-3pm) – usually in St Albans. Future dates are listed at the IT events page.
Information for new members or presenters
Information is also set out within:
Please contact email@example.com for some information about directions or parking.
Information about CP ITG sister group: Community Pharmacy Digital Group
CP ITG’s sister virtual group, Community Pharmacy Digital Group (CPDG) 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. Try taking part with CPDG by signing up at the CPDG page. The CPDG group discuss matters virtually via email instead of meeting face-to-face. After signing up, you can decide to unsubscribe from the email group at any time.
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.”
CP ITG established workstream areas are divided into five workstream areas:
- Interoperability and security: Ensuring information about people’s health and care can be safely and securely accessed, wherever it is needed.
- Reducing burden: Use of digital to reduce the burden on pharmacy teams, so they can focus on patients, and appropriate infrastructure for the task.
- Good use of digital: Support the use of digital within pharmacy to improve health and care productivity, improve patient safety outcomes and improve cooperation between pharmacy teams and the health and care system.
- Patient tools: Support enabling patients to be able to choose digital tools to access medicines information and pharmacy services directly, so they can receive the best outcomes, recognising the need to also remain inclusive for all patients.
- Set out roadmap priorities: Development and promotion of a wider community pharmacy digital roadmap / vision.
Those areas have some alignment with NHSX missions. The items within those areas are:
|WS1a Supporting the development of interoperability/integration: This could be between different community pharmacy systems 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 and pharmacy systems. The group will also support the development; of electronic referral solutions, for referral into and from community pharmacy; and transfer of information passed from and to community pharmacy in a structured manner – ideally via clinical systems e.g. flu vaccine, emergency supply, New Medicines Service, Community Pharmacist Consultation Service notifications from pharmacy to GP systems, smoking cessation referrals from secondary care, interoperability with hospital systems for discharge information etc. The group supports pharmacy systems extracting anonymised information to support evaluation and further development of pharmacy services. The group will keep a watching brief on developments relating to Professional Record Standards Body and group participants may feed into Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) pharmacy-related work. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/interoperability and psnc.org.uk/dosesyntax|
|WS1b Supporting NHSmail: Work with NHS Digital, promote NHSmail 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. Guidance will also give examples of how NHSmail can be used. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/NHSmail|
|WS1c Supporting maintenance and demonstration of data security and information governance arrangements: Supporting the use of minimum hardware specifications and the development of the Data and Security Protection Toolkit for community pharmacy, NHS Digital training resources and developing guidance and resources for pharmacy teams on cyber security and information governance (including data protection laws and handling patient requests for access to their data). Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/ds|
|WS1d 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. NHS Digital’s NHS Digital’s Internet First policy and other NHS and wider IT/digital/infrastructure developments will be considered, a watching brief being kept and implications for community pharmacy IT arrangements may be considered. 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. A standardised approach is required where there is a change by a pharmacy from one PMR system to another given there are clinical (including patient safety), ethical and legal risks related to the potential for data to be inappropriately transposed. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/itcontingency; and psnc.org.uk/connectivity|
|WS2a Support reduced burden through tackling issues related to the practical use of pharmacy IT and promoting good IT practices: E.g. tackling issues like frequency of forced password changes, use of alternative credentials (alternatives to Smartcards), multi-login options, for users and changes to support improved patient safety. Additionally, learning and promotion of good practices such as: less use of paper and more WiFi within pharmacies. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/itworkflow|
|WS3a Supporting the development of pharmacy systems: The group will help with consideration of pharmacy medication records (PMR) systems usability, interoperability for pharmacies and Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) and the five year framework. The work can support further work by the group with NHSX, NHS Digital, PMR system suppliers and contractors to develop a roadmap for development of PMR systems. The group should support PMR systems by helping to identify useful future development options – importantly to become increasingly patient-focussed and the group will maintain the list of commonly requested features. The group intends to keep a watching brief on potential regulatory changes that may impact pharmacy IT. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/systems|
|WS3b Supporting EPS and its enhancements: The group are to support NHSX, NHSE&I, NHS Digital and others by continuing to develop and share their views on the next generation of EPS. Real-time exemption checking, support of Phase 4 roll-outs, improving the efficiency of eRD (electronic Repeat Dispensing) workflows in 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 optimisation log. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/eps and psnc.org.uk/itfuture|
|WS3c Signposting to the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group (CPPSG): The group may signpost newly emerging patient safety items (with a digital aspect) for CPPSG’s consideration as/if needed. Relevant webpage(s) include: CPSSG|
|WS4a Consider the development of apps, wearables and technologies in healthcare: Consider the development of guidance and principles, where required, for new pharmacy and patient technologies covering, appropriate usage and security for data, promotion of all pharmacies equally within technologies etc. Support patient tools (NHS/pharmacy ones) which are usable, useful and inclusive. Support patient data standards being developed by PRSB and others. Support patients being able to choose to share information with health and care organisations such as their pharmacy (e.g. blood glucose levels) that is currently restricted to ‘silos’. User research which indicates patient expectations within this arena may also be considered to help the group’s wider work. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/apps|
|WS5a To support useful and usable IT beyond pharmacy PMR systems and EPS: The group will conduct further work to develop its vision which should align with its workstreams and the NHSX five missions. The roadmap should demonstrate the value to patients if the pharmacy digital vision is fulfilled. The digital roadmap should incorporate a wide range of feedback from the sector. The group will also seek pharmacy system supplier input and support as to those roadmap items which are more feasible within the nearer future for pharmacy systems. Relevant webpage(s) include: psnc.org.uk/itfuture|
Download a PDF version: CP ITG workstreams
Meeting papers (including 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.
March 2020 meeting papers (most recent meeting)
CPCF grid, infographic and IT – Reproductions of the grid and infographic to support IT relating to the Five-Year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework.
June 2020 meeting papers (most recent meeting)
Digital priority papers
Several two-page papers are set out below:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Return to the IT section: Get involved with pharmacy IT
Return to the IT section: Policy, the NHS and IT