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FMD case study - Kerry Welch, Weldricks Pharmacy
We visited pharmacist Kerry Welch at Weldricks Pharmacy, Field Road, Stainforth, one of 64 Weldricks community pharmacies located in the Doncaster area.
Preparations for FMD
Weldricks Head Office submitted registrations to SecurMed and, once they received their registration certificate, they started working in September 2018 with a new supplier of a standalone Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) solution which they decided to introduce into their wholesale warehouse and local pharmacies.
Kerry had extensive input into the development of the FMD solution that Weldricks chose, in fact, some of the icons the solution uses on its menus originate from photos taken in Kerry’s branch. The FMD solution isn’t integrated with their pharmacy stock control system, but does sit comfortably alongside it, running on small touch-screen Kerry Welch, Pharmacist tablet computers with scanners attached, and a wired network connection to the router so the National Medicines Verification System (NMVS) database can be contacted.
Day to day processes
In Kerry’s branch, they receive at least one delivery daily, and this can be over 1000 items. They estimate around 5% of the stock in their pharmacy is FMD compliant, and their staff are now well practised at identifying compliant packs, performing the verification scans and checking the tamper proof packaging. If they scan a pack which has less than six months until its expiry date the solution will notify them, which helps identify these packs and avoid wastage from expired stock.
Decommissioning scans are performed at the dispensing stage, just before the items are handed to the patient or their representative. Their solution allows them to aggregate using stick on barcode labels with unique IDs. So, if there is more than one FMD item for a patient, they can aggregate the items together by scanning them and associating them with the stickon barcode, which is stuck to the prescription. The prescription is then fastened to the bag of medicines. Before the item leaves the pharmacy for delivery, or when the patient comes to collect, Kerry’s team scan the stick-on barcode which automatically decommissions all the individual medicines which are associated with it. The stick-on labels are supplied by their FMD solution supplier in batches of 60,000 labels.
Aggregation isn’t used for patients that have waited whilst their medication is picked and dispensed, because they can do the decommissioning scan as they put the medicines into the bag, which is then handed straight to the patient.
For undelivered aggregated items that the driver brings back to the pharmacy, they will retrieve the prescription with the stick-on label and scan to recommission the packs. It will be decommissioned again before the next delivery attempt. This solves any problems that might be caused by the requirement that decommissioned medicines cannot be recommissioned after 10 days have elapsed.
When dispensing part-packs, they cross out the FMD barcode after the first decommission, which prevents them from accidentally scanning it again, which would result in a message back from NMVS telling them the item’s already been dispensed. All the pharmacy team routinely perform both verification and decommissioning scans, and Kerry provided the training on identifying the FMD compliant packs, scanning, and using the FMD software.
Volume of FMD medications packs
The team are currently seeing a small amount of medication coming through with the 2D barcode, safety features and that has been uploaded to the NMVS. They estimate around 5% of the packs in the pharmacy are FMD compliant.
Benefits of FMD
Kerry can see opportunities which benefit stock control when they’re able to scan all prescription only medicines at goods-in. The 30 minutes or so they currently spend checking daily for near expiry date stock will be significantly reduced, as they’ll simply run an expiry date report on their FMD solution to identify them.
Louise Patterson, another pharmacist at Weldricks, added that medicine checking at the dispensing stage is quicker as the FMD compliant tamper proof packaging releases time she previously spent opening packs to check content.
Kerry advises pharmacies that haven’t gone live yet with FMD processes that, in her case, it hasn’t required any significant changes to day to day processes, and it’s very quick to adapt to the new scanning processes.