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BMJ Qual Saf ; 30(1): 17-26, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430192


BACKGROUND: User-testing and subsequent modification of clinical guidelines increases health professionals' information retrieval and comprehension. No study has investigated whether this results in safer care. OBJECTIVE: To compare the frequency of medication errors when administering an intravenous medicine using the current National Health Service Injectable Medicines Guide (IMG) versus an IMG version revised with user-testing. METHOD: Single-blind, randomised parallel group in situ simulation. Participants were on-duty nurses/midwives who regularly prepared intravenous medicines. Using a training manikin in their clinical area, participants administered a voriconazole infusion, a high-risk medicine requiring several steps to prepare. They were randomised to use current IMG guidelines or IMG guidelines revised with user-testing. Direct observation was used to time the simulation and identify errors. Participant confidence was measured using a validated instrument. The primary outcome was the percentage of simulations with at least one moderate-severe IMG-related error, with error severity classified by an expert panel. RESULTS: In total, 133 participants were randomised to current guidelines and 140 to user-tested guidelines. Fewer moderate-severe IMG-related errors occurred with the user-tested guidelines (n=68, 49%) compared with current guidelines (n=79, 59%), but this difference was not statistically significant (risk ratio: 0.82; 95% CI 0.66 to 1.02). Significantly more simulations were completed without any IMG-related errors with the user-tested guidelines (n=67, 48%) compared with current guidelines (n=26, 20%) (risk ratio: 2.46; 95% CI 1.68 to 3.60). Median simulation completion time was 1.6 min (95% CI 0.2 to 3.0) less with the user-tested guidelines. Participants who used user-tested guidelines reported greater confidence. CONCLUSION: User-testing injectable medicines guidelines reduces the number of errors and the time taken to prepare and administer intravenous medicines, while increasing staff confidence. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: researchregistry5275.

State Medicine , Adult , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Infusions, Intravenous , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Blind Method
Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(8)2021 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354945


Nonadherence to medicines is widespread and can adversely affect health outcomes. Previous research has identified that patients develop their own strategies to assist with adherence. However, such research has not focused on how the helpfulness of these strategies may change in response to changes in patients' circumstances. This study aimed to explore resilience of medication adherence to life changes. It involved secondary thematic analysis of the verbatim transcripts of 50 semi-structured interviews that were conducted with adults who were advised to shield or were over the age of 70 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Interview data suggested that resilience of medication adherence varied between participants. Participants either reported that they had not used any specific strategies to remind them to take their medicines prior to the pandemic, that the strategies that they had employed prior to the pandemic remained effective during the pandemic, that they had needed to make some adjustments to the strategies used, or that the strategies they had used were no longer effective. In addition, beliefs about medicines and motivation to take them were altered for some participants. These findings suggest that challenges associated with medication adherence do not always remain stable over time and that healthcare professionals need to continue to monitor and support medication adherence long-term.

Int J Pharm Pract ; 29(5): 458-464, 2021 Oct 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338701


OBJECTIVES: To explore home medicine practices and safety for people shielding and/or over the age of 70 during the COVID-19 pandemic and to create guidance, from the patient/carer perspective, for enabling safe medicine practices for this population. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 50 UK participants who were shielding and/or over the age of 70 and who used medicines for a long-term condition, using telephone or video conferencing. Participants were recruited through personal/professional networks and through patient/carer organisations. Participants were asked about their experiences of managing medicines during the pandemic and how this differed from previous practices. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. KEY FINDINGS: Patients' and their families' experiences of managing medicines safely during the pandemic varied greatly. Analysis suggests that this was based on the patient's own agency, the functioning of their medicines system pre-pandemic and their relationships with family, friends, community networks and pharmacy staff. Medicine safety issues reported included omitted doses and less-effective formulations being used. Participants also described experiencing high levels of anxiety related to obtaining medicines, monitoring medicines and feeling at risk of contracting COVID-19 while accessing healthcare services for medicine-related issues. Effects of the pandemic on medicines adherence were reported to be positive by some and negative by others. CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacy staff have a key role to play by establishing good relationships with patients and their families, working with prescribers to ensure medicines systems are as joined up as possible, and signposting to community networks that can help with medicines collection.

COVID-19 , Caregivers/psychology , Community Pharmacy Services , Pandemics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Primary Health Care , Public Health , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety , United Kingdom
Lancet Digit Health ; 3(6): e383-e396, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1221078


Health information technology can support the development of national learning health and care systems, which can be defined as health and care systems that continuously use data-enabled infrastructure to support policy and planning, public health, and personalisation of care. The COVID-19 pandemic has offered an opportunity to assess how well equipped the UK is to leverage health information technology and apply the principles of a national learning health and care system in response to a major public health shock. With the experience acquired during the pandemic, each country within the UK should now re-evaluate their digital health and care strategies. After leaving the EU, UK countries now need to decide to what extent they wish to engage with European efforts to promote interoperability between electronic health records. Major priorities for strengthening health information technology in the UK include achieving the optimal balance between top-down and bottom-up implementation, improving usability and interoperability, developing capacity for handling, processing, and analysing data, addressing privacy and security concerns, and encouraging digital inclusivity. Current and future opportunities include integrating electronic health records across health and care providers, investing in health data science research, generating real-world data, developing artificial intelligence and robotics, and facilitating public-private partnerships. Many ethical challenges and unintended consequences of implementation of health information technology exist. To address these, there is a need to develop regulatory frameworks for the development, management, and procurement of artificial intelligence and health information technology systems, create public-private partnerships, and ethically and safely apply artificial intelligence in the National Health Service.

COVID-19 , Learning Health System , Medical Informatics , Artificial Intelligence/trends , Contact Tracing/methods , Health Information Interoperability , Humans , Mobile Applications , Population Surveillance/methods , Public-Private Sector Partnerships , Robotics/trends , Systems Integration , United Kingdom
BMJ Open ; 10(11): e044441, 2020 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-944954


INTRODUCTION: Those who are staying at home and reducing contact with other people during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to be at greater risk of medication-related problems than the general population. This study aims to explore household medication practices by and for this population, identify practices that benefit or jeopardise medication safety and develop best practice guidance about household medication safety practices during a pandemic, grounded in individual experiences. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a descriptive qualitative study using semistructured interviews, by telephone or video call. People who have been advised to 'cocoon'/'shield' and/or are aged 70 years or over and using at least one long-term medication, or their caregivers, will be eligible for inclusion. We will recruit 100 patient/carer participants: 50 from the UK and 50 from Ireland. Recruitment will be supported by our patient and public involvement (PPI) partners, personal networks and social media. Individual participant consent will be sought, and interviews audio/video recorded and/or detailed notes made. A constructivist interpretivist approach to data analysis will involve use of the constant comparative method to organise the data, along with inductive analysis. From this, we will iteratively develop best practice guidance about household medication safety practices during a pandemic from the patient's/carer's perspective. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick and University College London ethics approvals. We plan to disseminate our findings via presentations at relevant patient/public, professional, academic and scientific meetings, and for publication in peer-reviewed journals. We will create a list of helpful strategies that participants have reported and share this with participants, PPI partners and on social media.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Family Characteristics , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , London/epidemiology , Safety
BMJ Qual Saf ; 29(11): 873-874, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-877822

Patient Care Team , Humans