Widening access to patient information from the GM Care Record for Community Pharmacists: An Interview with Luvjit Kandula.

Pharmacist holding computer tablet

In a recent interview, we’ve had the opportunity to speak with Luvjit Kandula, the Director of Pharmacy Transformation for the Greater Manchester Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC). Luvjit shared valuable insights about the current role of community pharmacy and the anticipated benefits of allowing community pharmacists access to wider patient information through the GM Care Record.

When asked about the current situation regarding accessing patient information in community pharmacy, Luvjit highlighted that community pharmacies currently have access to the national care record. This record provides essential information such as demographics, PDF documents, medication lists, allergies, and some local care plans. However, she emphasised that the GM Care Record, which community pharmacies will soon have access to in Greater Manchester, will include the full clinical care record, offering a wide range of clinical, cost, and safety benefits to pharmacists and their patients.

Luvjit explained, “Having access to the full clinical care record allows us to provide a patient-centered service, improve medication safety, patient safety efficiency, and enhance clinical care provision. It helps us tailor our approach and expertise to the specific needs of the patient, which is challenging without access to wider care plans, blood tests and other essential health and care information”.

The interview further explored the benefits and impacts of widening the rollout of the GM Care Record for community pharmacy. Luvjit highlighted several crucial points. Firstly, she mentioned how understanding the reasons behind specific medications can help community pharmacists carry out additional checks when medications are changed or stopped. This ensures patients receive the right medicines at the right time, leading to improved medication adherence and preventing hospital admissions.

Luvjit also stressed the importance of accessing the record for community pharmacists who are developing their skills as independent prescribers. With plans for community pharmacists to become prescribers in the near future, full access to the patient’s record becomes essential. It enables pharmacists to make informed decisions, understand diagnoses and care plans, and prescribe medication accordingly.

Additionally, Luvjit highlighted the impact on services such as blood pressure checks and minor illness consultations. With access to the GM Care Record, community pharmacies can provide quicker services, avoiding the need to contact other healthcare professionals and alleviating the pressure on general practice. This enhances the patient experience, improves efficiency, and allows for tailored advice and support.

One significant aspect discussed in the interview was the integration of community pharmacy into the local health and social care system. Luvjit acknowledged the need for community pharmacy to be an integral part of primary care and wider healthcare. She noted, “The GM Care Record will be the first step in that integration, enabling greater collaboration with other health and social care professionals.” She expressed hope that in the future, community pharmacy could communicate directly with healthcare professionals through the GM Care Record across different care settings, promoting a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care.

The interview with Luvjit Kandula shed light on the evolving role of community pharmacy and the imminent benefits of accessing patient information through the GM Care Record. The integration of community pharmacy into the healthcare system holds immense potential to improve medication safety, enhance patient care, and alleviate pressure on other healthcare professionals.

Luvjit Kandula

As we move forward, it is crucial to prioritise the seamless flow of patient information, empowering community pharmacies to provide more personalised and effective care. The GM Care Record represents a significant step towards achieving this goal, fostering an interconnected and patient-centric healthcare system in Greater Manchester, to include community pharmacy.

This project is currently in development at Health Innovation Manchester with the plan to rollout out access to the GM Care Record for Community Pharmacists in 2024.

For more information on the project, click here.

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