Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has successfully implemented Ascribe’s Web Pharmacy in its two hospitals.

Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital have both been upgraded from Ascribe’s previous V.8 pharmacy system.

It’s hoped the new web-based system will enable the addition of further technologies in the future, such as e-prescribing.

Principal pharmacist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, Michael Duffy-Price, told eHealth Insider e-prescribing is a key goal.

“To be able to achieve e-prescribing, we have to have the Web Pharmacy in place, so it’s one step at a time. We’re not at the moment actively installing e-prescribing; it’s an option for the future.”

Pharmacists are using Web Pharmacy for more effective stock control, with information about the drugs being issued and their cost being passed to the trust’s finance systems via an interface.

A team of Ascribe staff worked closely with pharmacists ahead of the go-live, which went off without a hitch in February. Duffy-Price says the close partnership with Ascribe enabled staff to get used to the system.

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say they like it but they see the benefits of it – they have accepted the change and are keen and enthusiastic.”

Mike Chapman, Ascribe’s head of operations, said the system ultimately does more for the pharmacist. “There’s a lot of smart stuff going on underneath and the important thing is that we’re bringing in something that is in part radically different. We’ve developed a process of working with them so they understand the product.”

Ascribe’s marketing manager, Simon Mehlman, said Web Pharmacy also presents an opportunity for pharmacists to order drugs remotely from within the wards.

“You start getting a standard that allows them to leave pharmacy departments and allows them to get out into the wards and improve patient quality of care.”