Safe Medicines Alert
We are developing a Safe Medicines alert (SMA) for patients to record thoughts, questions and concerns for discussion with their healthcare professionals. We are working on two components:
Safe Medicines Alert at Transitions – For when patients move between healthcare settings (e.g. when patients are discharged from hospital into primary care);
Safe Medicines Alert in Primary Care – For when patients are in their own home.
SMA at Transitions: Beth Fylan, Iuri Marques
SMA in Primary Care: Syed Tabish R. Zaidi, Iuri Marques, Jonathan Silcock, Theo Raynor, George Peat
For the SAM in primary care, are working in collaboration with colleagues from Workstreams 1 and 3. For the SMA at transtitions, we are collaborating with the Patient Involvement in theme of the Yorkshire and Humber PSTRC.
Why is this project important?
Older patients (65 years and older) and those with a diagnosis of frailty often take multiple medicines and are on complex drug regimens. We also know that sometimes medicines become problematic over time – for example, more medicines increase the risk of side effects due to drug interactions. Stopping medicines is therefore a solution when they have become problematic. However, this can lead to concerns which may be left unexplored or not addressed. Currently, there is no standardised method or tool for patients to record and concerns or questions they may have about their medicines, for discussion when they meet with their healthcare professionals.
What are we doing?
Building on our understanding of patients and healthcare professionals’ views on deprescribing processes in primary care, we are developing a safe medicines alert tool so that patients can record any questions and concerns they may have before, during or after a decision to stop medicines is made. The SMA can then support discussions between patients, their supporting peers (e.g. those who help patients manage their medicines at home) and healthcare professionals.
Patient and public involvement and engagement
We ran several events where we brought patients, their supporting peers and healthcare professionals (stakeholders) together to co-design our SMA. Separate sessions were conducted for the SMA at transitions and the SMA in primary care. Under their guidance, we have managed to recruit a diverse group of patients and their carers who have provided valuable insights into the various components of the proposed tool.
Outputs and impact
Our tool will promote patient involvement in discussions and decisions about their medicines, particularly when decisions are made to change or stop a problematic medicine. The SMA will allow the patients to record any questions and concerns beforehand, so they these can be acknowledged and discussed before and after decisions are made.
Contact for more information
For the SMA at transitions: Beth Fylan, Iuri Marques
For the SMA in primary care: Syed Tabish R. Zaidi, Iuri Marques