The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has launched a web based platform to help simplify record-keeping, claim payment from primary care trusts and build an evidence base for the sector.

PharmaBase will be trialed early next year and provided free of charge to PCTs for two years. It allow pharmacists to submit claims for services and record outcomes online, and then use the information to collate evidence on pharmacy services provision.

The system has been developed by the PSNC in partnership with Crimson. It aims to provide an alternative to software that is traditionally aimed at pharmacists by commercial IT providers.

By providing PharmaBase for free, the PSNC hopes to make support for commissioning less patchy and and to bring greater consistency to the delivery and evaluation of enhanced services.

Gary Feary, chief executive of Health Information Exchange, the subsidiary company that developed and and will run Pharmabase, told E-Health Primary Care: “In early 2009, we carried out a review into the software that was available to support the delivery of pharmacy service and the collation of data to develop an evidence base.

“We looked both across the country and internationally, but nothing fitted the needs of the UK in terms of being suitable for both small pharmacies and large chains and in providing the necessary support to enable pharmacies to take control of building their own evidence base and support commissioning.”

The system, which Feary says has been “developed by pharmacy, for pharmacy” has been funded by the pharmacy levy so pharmacists are essentially paying for the system themselves indirectly.

The first release of PharmaBase will support pharmacy contractors to make records of supervised consumption of medicines and EHC supplied in line with locally commissioned enhanced services and claim payment for the service.

In addition it will support compliance with the pharmacy contract’s terms of service and reduce the contract monitoring by PCTs, by providing an electronic version of PSNC’s Contract Workbook that will integrate with NHS Primary Care Commissioning’s Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework.

Additional releases will provide support for more locally commissioned services and any new nationally commissioned services launched in the future.

The PSNC claims that the system is also future proof. Feary added: “One of the key points about the system is that it will adapt very easily as commissioning changes over the next few years.

“The final development was made during the white paper when it became clear that many more commission services, including GPs and LAs so we designed it very much to deal with any number of commissioners, including multiple commissioners from the same pharmacy.”

Link: PharmaBase on the PSNC website.