A new electronic medicines management solution, developed by software provider Ascribe, is being trialled at the Manchester Royal Infirmary.

The software allows medicines prescribed from the patient’s bedside to be automatically screened and recorded, then ordered and dispensed from the hospital pharmacy, which also runs Ascribe software.

Mark Hindle, group project manager at Ascribe, told E-Health Insider: “The electronic Medicines Management (eMM) has been designed to be able to take pharmacy work beyond the actual pharmacy. We have technicians dedicated to each ward to provide anyone prescribing with support.

“Each drug that is prescribed is recorded and the eMM’s dedicated decision support cross-checks each prescription, alerting the prescriber to any contraindications that are associated with that particular drug.”

The eMM is delivered using an Integrated Clinical Workstation (ICW). Doctors write prescriptions at the patient’s bedside and these are transcribed wirelessly by a pharmacy technician on the ward, using tablet PCs. The system is browser-based, and technicians and managers have the ability to oversee how the program is used.

Hindle said: “Manchester have used our pharmacy system since 2003 so the ICW works on the same platform and the same workflow system as their existing Ascribe pharmacy solutions. With the eMM the hospital can create a patient history for their medications, and keep a note on what they are currently on, supply changes, allergies and initial orders.”

The software is currently being piloted at the Elective Orthopaedic Centre. Rollout evaluation is scheduled for the new year.

Hindle added: “This is all part of quite a big push to link up the supply chain of linking pharmacy systems. Hopefully, more trusts will want to use the eMM to help them make prescribing and ordering pharmaceutical supplies a lot easier.”

The Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich, south-east London, is also set to go live with the system, in March next year.