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Medicine Management Technicians

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The NHS is under extreme pressure to reduce the time patients stay in hospital, as there is a need to reduce the turn around times of patients being discharged and overall save money without affecting patient safety. With this in mind, the Pharmacy Department at the Royal Derby Hospital have a team of Medicine Management Technicians (MMTs) who have a vital role to check the quality and safety of prescribed medicines to take out (TTOs) for patients being discharged from hospital.

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It is vital that an accurate drug history is completed within 24 hours of the patient’s admission to ensure the patient has the correct medications during their stay in hospital. To achieve this, the MMTs at the Royal Derby Hospital provide a service to all Medicine, Surgery, Oncology, Trauma and Orthopaedic wards. These wards are visited daily Monday to Friday by the MMTs who also support the pharmacists in completing patient drug histories. For the MMTs and pharmacist to obtain an accurate drug history it is important that this information is obtained from at least two different sources, the best being the patient and the patients own drugs (PODs). Patients are encouraged to bring into hospital their PODs as this reduces the cost of unnecessary ordering of medications and reduces omissions at drug rounds reducing treatment delay and potentially saving money for the NHS. PODs can also raise awareness of any compliance issues prompting pharmacy to refer the patient for a Medicine Use Review (MUR) in the community.

The MMTs are contacted daily by the ward nurses and informed of patients being discharged. The MMTs liase with the nursing staff and doctors and discuss any issues, care packages, or compliance aids that may be required prior to discharge as these can sometimes delay the patient going home if forward planning isn’t performed.

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Once the patient is ready to be discharged from Hospital it is the role of the MMT to check the patients TTO against the patients electronic drug chart. If the TTO isn’t accurate the MMT will discuss any issues with the ward doctor. Once resolved the MMT will check the patients PODs and supply any new medications required. The supply of medications for TTOs is completed in a pharmacy satellite who then contact the ward when the medications are ready.

There are many patients that come into hospital with compliance aids. If their medications have changed during their admission, the MMT will contact the patient's community pharmacy and discus how many days they require the hospital to supply and arrange continuation in the community. Once agreed the MMT will fill the compliance aid for the appropriate amount of days requested.

It is important that the patient understands how to take their medications, so where possible the MMT will counsel the patient on them. Once this has been completed the patient is ready to go home.

Medicine Management Technicians confront the demands on nursing time, reduces medication errors and through effective medicine management, can help to control pharmacy workload.