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Electronic notifications from pharmacy to GP systems

Find out about the use of electronic notifications, which are used to securely share information about the urgent supply of medicines and pharmacy administered flu vaccinations with GP practices. 

Electronic notifications are sent automatically from pharmacies and are received by GP practices as a workflow task. Some GP systems can receive structured information, which means details can be added directly to a patient's GP record, without having to transcribe the information manually.   

These electronic notifications are currently available for the urgent supply of medicines made as part of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) and pharmacy administered flu vaccinations.

The content of the electronic notification is based on the pharmacy information flows data standard developed in partnership with the PRSB. The PRSB worked with clinicians from across primary care to develop and endorse the standard which covers vaccinations, urgent supply of medicines and other community pharmacy services. 

This system of electronic notifications is currently in use, or being developed for, the following systems:

  • TPP SystmOne
  • EMIS Web
  • Sonar Informatics
  • Pinnacle PharmOutcomes

CPCS Urgent Supply of Medicines

This service is a digital solution for informing the GP practice when a patient registered with their practice receives an urgent supply of medicines from a community pharmacy. This information can then be added to the patient’s record.

How it works

Image of process flow for electronic notifications

Notifications are sent as a structured FHIR message from a community pharmacy’s clinical system via MESH directly to a patient’s GP practice, where it’s received as a workflow task. This reduces manual processing and improves data quality.

Once added to the patient record, the practice can also update a patient’s Summary Care Record (SCR) so the information is available to other care providers.

Information for GP practices

The new functionality delivers urgent supply notifications to the practice MESH mailbox and creates a workflow task to complete the process. 

The findings from testing and pilot activities show that this is a simpler and more efficient process for the practice staff than the notifications currently sent via paper, fax and NHSmail.

User guides and training materials are available directly from TPP or EMIS.

A training video for SystmOne practices is available.

Guidance for EMIS web users is available.

GP practices will still receive the full details of the urgent supply in a PDF document and can add any additional information to the patient record manually as appropriate. In the unlikely event that the electronic message cannot be sent, pharmacies may revert to their existing processes, so GPs should continue to check for notifications received via NHSmail, fax or post.

Please note: If you use EMIS Web with a third-party product such as Docman for your patient document management you will need to configure your Document Management task settings in Workflow Manager. If you have any concerns or issues, please contact your system supplier.

Information for community pharmacies

It's not expected that the workflow will noticeably change, as the enhancement to the service is system driven through improved patient synchronisation with the NHS Spine and GP MESH mailboxes.

Updated user guides and training materials are available from Pinnacle or Sonar Informatics.

If you have any concerns or issues, please contact your system supplier.

Roll out

All community pharmacies using Sonar Informatics and Pinnacle’s PharmOutcomes can now send notifications and all GP practices using TPP’s SystmOne can receive them.

Practices using EMIS Web will have the functionality enabled during August 2020 and will be provided with further information about switch-on dates by EMIS.

Pharmacy administered flu vaccinations

Electronic notifications for pharmacy administered flu vaccinations are currently only available for TPP SystmOne GP practices and Pinnacle PharmOutcomes pharmacies.

Information for GP practices

GP practices still receive the full details of the vaccination in a PDF document and can add any additional information to the patient record manually as appropriate. In the unlikely event that the electronic message cannot be sent, pharmacies may revert to their existing processes, so GPs should continue to check for notifications received via NHSmail, fax or post. Further system guidance is available from TPP.

Information for community pharmacies

The way pharmacists record flu vaccinations in PharmOutcomes has not changed. The system checks whether the patient’s GP practice can receive the new message type before sending it. If the electronic notification cannot be received, the system will automatically revert to the existing process. Further system guidance is available from Pinnacle.

Pilot

A successful pilot took place in Leeds during September 2019 involving 81 GP practices and 113 community pharmacies. More than 2,500 electronic flu notifications were sent and received during the two-week pilot.

Last edited: 21 August 2020 8:38 am