Pharmacy software solution QicSCRIPT has been upgraded with appointment scheduling and patient identification systems so that pharmacists can deal with Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) under their new contract.

QicSCRIPT’s new system allows pharmacists to scan their records and identify the most appropriate candidates for review. The patients are then contacted to have their medication checked and if necessary they can be reminded closer to their appointment.

David Raethorne, managing director of manufacturers Systems Solutions, said: "Our aim to empower pharmacists to manage their own time and financial resources as efficiently as possible.

"At present, pharmacists are very much dependent on targeting patients in-store for MURs. With our new MUR and appointments scheduling software, the pharmacist doesn’t have to wait until the patient walks into their pharmacy; they can proactively identify suitable patients, contact them and sign them up for an MUR consultation during the pharmacy’s quieter times."

Pharmacists must complete 250 reviews of medication every year in order to receive full funds from their new contract. These reviews are carried out on the basis of age, medical conditions and quantity or type of drugs.

The consultation is recorded on the pharmacist’s own electronic patient record, which is automatically populated with the patient’s demographic details. However, there is no electronic link between the pharmacy and the GP for sending the results of the review back; a report must be printed out and posted to the patient’s GP.

QicSCRIPT was accredited for use with the electronic prescription service last autumn. The system is able to retrieve electronic prescriptions transmitted by GPs through the data spine.

Raethorne added: "Up to 10 million GP appointments are missed every year costing the NHS in the region of £180m annually. It seems inevitable that this situation may well be replicated for MUR consultations in pharmacies.

"Our advanced appointment scheduling software has the ability to reduce the number of missed MUR appointments, thereby increasing the chances of the patient actually turning up."

QicSCRIPT runs its software in 1,200 Boots pharmacies as well as in a number of independent stores.