The connect study is investigating how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected medication safety in primary care and aims to develop a set of resources for pharmacists and patients to help make sure that medicines can be used safely when care is delivered remotely.
Extensive process and journey mapping was conducted to establish how workflows and care delivery have changed through the varying stages of the pandemic. Secondary research was also carried out on aspects of remote care and use of technology in communication and care delivery prior to COVID-19.
GP and Pharmacist Surveys
A nationwide survey was carried out with general practitioners and pharmacists on new work practices and medication safety during the pandemic. Over 250 responses were received which greatly informed our understanding of current practice.
Patient and Pharmacist Interviews
To further our understanding, in particular, of the patient experience of primary care through the pandemic, we conducted interviews with 12 patients and 10 interviews with community pharmacists. Analysis of these interviews and the survey results formed the basis of a series of workshops with stakeholders including GPs, pharmacists, researchers and medication safety professionals.
Three key themes emerged and three further sub-themes were identified for each.
01 Patient Care - Remote Care; Continuity of Care; Monitoring
02 Workflow Changes - Healthmail; Pressure/Stress; Patient Expectations
03 Changing Roles - Pharmacist Visibility; Patient Advocacy; Interprofessional Relationships
A series of stakeholder workshops were conducted. Survey and interview findings were reported and discussed at the first workshop and themes which emerged were prioritised for further discussion.
During workshop two we used scenarios based on common types of incidents reported in the surveys and interviews to ideate on potential intervention points and types of possible tools.
Between workshops ideas suggested in workshop two were further iterated and workshop three focused on reviewing and refining those ideas.
• Ongoing testing and refinement of a series of paper based tools for use in pharmacy workflow and patient communications
• Development and production of final "toolkit" for distribution and testing