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FMD case study - Ben Eaton, Dean and Smedley
We visited Ben Eaton at the Dean and Smedley Pharmacy he manages in Swadlincote, Derby in February 2019, five days after the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) became law, to talk with him about his experiences so far
Preparations for FMD
Ben told us they looked at both integrated and standalone FMD solutions before deciding to use the integrated FMD solution offered by their pharmacy stock control system supplier for all 11 of their stores. The main factor was it provided them with additional features and benefits they could realise in the future such as drug recalls to enhance patient safety.
After registering with SecurMed and receiving their registration certificate, they attached scanners to their three existing computer terminals and their supplier activated the FMD scanning solution. As they were the first of their supplier’s sites to go live with FMD, they helped contribute to the development of the software.
Involving the team and providing training
Ben arranged management and staff meetings to introduce FMD and discuss processes that would change. The company looked at how they currently operated in each store and developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for FMD accordingly. Their system supplier also provided FMD content on their online support centre which provided all the materials needed to train the pharmacy teams. Ben and his pharmacy team also regularly provided ideas and feedback to their system supplier for improvements and he urges others to do the same in order for the systems to be continually developed.
Day to day processes
Ben’s pharmacy receives two deliveries a day, a main delivery in the morning with a smaller one in the afternoon. Rather than performing verification scans at goods-in, they decided the best way to incorporate FMD scanning into their day to day processes was to do the verification scan after the medicine is picked for dispensing, and at that stage they also check the tamper proof packaging is intact. A highlighter mark on the medicine pack is added at the labelling stage to indicate the FMD checks have been completed.
Ben’s advice for other pharmacies is to start thinking about how FMD is going to work in your pharmacy and start mapping out your processes.
The decommissioning scan
Ben’s team perform the decommissioning scan at the point of handing to the patient or their representative.
The have introduced an aggregated barcode label which means, if there is more than one FMD compliant pack for the same patient, a unique label is used to associate those items together so they can decommission with one scan rather than needing to scan every item individually. The aggregated label is stuck onto the bottom of the prescription token.
They have been surprised that so far hey have only seen 11 product types that have the FMD 2D barcode and the tamper proof packaging. A larger proportion of the refrigerated stock is compliant than shelf stock, but overall numbers are much lower than they expected them to be by March.
FMD processes and workflow
Ben thinks it is definitely extra work to comply with the FMD requirements, which increase the time needed for the dispensing process as it Now involves scanning FMD packs and checking the tamper proof packaging is intact.
Benefits from FMD
Ben initially told us about the disbenefits of FMD, such as having to spend time identifying whether a pack is compliant and should be scanned, and the additional steps to the dispensing process. However, he thinks they’ll adapt quickly in the same way they did when EPS was introduced – “now I couldn’t imagine life without EPS”.
He foresees patients benefiting from knowing the medicine they’re receiving isn’t falsified, and pharmacists seeing the same benefit of knowing the medicines they’re dispensing are legitimate.
He’s hoping future iterations of the software can include functionality to support drug recalls and stock checks, and it would be great to have improved integration with EPS so when they scan to decommission they can send the EPS dispense notification and claim at the same time. Ben would also like to improve flexible ways of working in their pharmacy with the introduction of wireless scanners and tablets.