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Practice Plus deploy MICS (Medicine Inventory Control System), reducing cost and enhancing the patient experience.

Practice Plus urgent care services ensure patients have access to the right health care service, at the right time, in the right place during both in-hours and out-of-hours. Their services aim to reduce emergency admissions and unnecessary attendances at hospitals by providing a convenient, friendly walk-in service for all.

The challenge and installation

Typically, when a Practice Plus clinician prescribed medication, they went to the Pharmacy and self-dispensed meds directly or with colleague signed consent for controlled meds. The clinician would then manually write down the date, time, items prescribed, and the patient case number into one of the various location files. Later, the Pharmacy Technician would count and reconcile stock ahead of re-ordering and in some instances have to find missing items. In a busy treatment centre, this took up valuable time that could be spent with patients.

Providing a consistent level of high service also came at a challenge and cost, with the need to manage the in-house pharmacy, stock control, access, re-ordering, error prevention, and audit controls.

Working closely with Practice Plus, ExPD proposed a new solution which would go way beyond a simple stock system and include full stock inventory control, access controlled smart locks added to existing meds cupboards, user access via Smart devices with secure login credentials, ability to quickly audit all stock, and the removal of the manual handwritten and excel pharmacy tech records.

Clinicians would be able to both prescribe medicines and dispense without the need for a patient needing to go to a separate pharmacy and provide the best possible patient experience.

The solution

ExPD developed an exact fit solution for Practice Plus, and named it MICS. The product was developed with input from PracticePlus to ensure it met every aspect of their medicine control requirements. The net result is an end-to-end solution which saves time,  money and delivers a faster more efficient patient service which can be relied on..

Every item or drug which is tracked though the MICS system is uniquely identified by scanning the Matrix code which can be found on every item. On receipt (goods in) all items are scanned into the system which immediately changes the stock on hand, this stock is then scanned to its dispensing cupboard or to overflow.

Clinicians can now only prescribe meds which are known to be available, therefore eliminating wasted time looking for items which aren’t in stock. At the point the clinician requests the dispense, they have to be in the room (this is validated by controller), then the cupboard containing the correct medicine is dynamically opened. The clinician then scans the item to confirm it is correct thereby removing any instance of the wrong med being given to the patient, and ensuring the item is in date and not previously recalled.

An alerts pane and notification feature alerts to low stocks, items approaching the use by date, recalled products and missing products following audit – all of which can be dealt with in a timely manner rather than when it’s too late.

The new system eliminates the need for key management which saves time and eliminates issues over lost keys. An audit trail of who accessed which cupboards when is recorded, and a secondary level of SMART authorisation using PIN access (via mobile device) for controlled drugs is provided.  Payment of prescriptions is also controlled and recorded which protects Practice Plus from no-payment of prescriptions as best possible.

The core database is populated directly from the NHS medicines database (dm+d) (The NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices) which ensures the data accuracy is optimum, up to date and aligned to all other areas of the NHS, keeping product naming consistent.

The result

The provided solution is an AWS Cloud Hosted database system populated real-time by dm+d, a mobile APP for PDA and mobile devices for prescribing and dispensing, a controller tablet for central access and lock controller, and the installation of smart locks fitted to each of the existing Bristol Maid steel medicine cupboards. This together with the software installation, and training has delivered a great solution which is soon to be rolled out to further Practice Plus sites.

ExPD worked closely with Peter Cheetham – Deputy Clinician at Practice Plus to ensure MICS delivered the functionality and data required.

Peter Cheetham, said: “We worked closely with the ExPD team to implement the MICS system – our main contacts Adrian and Phil could not have been any more attentive, they really cared about the solution and fully understood the need to ensure process is followed and they delivered a solution which surpassed our expectation.

“There have been a few issues on the way, which considering this is a ground up build, is no surprise; ExPD have always responded quickly and have continued to work way beyond the project scope to ensure we get our solution and they have a product which will suit other pharmacy needs.”

If you’d like further information on how MICS could benefit your healthcare setting – our ‘Expert’ team are ready to help.

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