Researchers based at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUHT) have won a national Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety award for their ground-breaking tool which assesses the likelihood of an older adult suffering from medication-related harm (MRH) at the point of hospital discharge.
Professor Chakravarthi Rajkumar, Chair of Geriatrics and Stroke Medicine at BSMS; Dr Khalid Ali, Senior Lecturer in Geriatrics at BSMS and Honorary Consultant at BSUHT, and Dr Nikesh Parekh, General Practitioner, developed the PRIME prediction tool along with colleagues from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Western Sussex Hospitals Trust and Dr Anoop Chauhan from Portsmouth Hospitals Trust. The team were awarded the award for Improving Safety in Medicines Management Initiative of the Year in the 2020 HSJ Patient Safety awards, which took place virtually on 10 November 2020.
Recent studies have shown that more than a third of older patients experience MRH following hospital discharge. Apart from causing harm to patients and significant distress to their families and carers, such MRH costs the NHS estimated at £396 million annually. Reducing the burden of serious and avoidable medication-related harm by 50% by 2022 is World Health Organization’s (WHO) third global patient safety challenge.
The PRIME tool, funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), includes eight routinely collected pieces of information relating to patients: age, gender, number of medicines taken, taking antiplatelet and diabetes medications, sodium level, previous adverse drug reaction, and living alone. Including these eight determinants in a mathematical formula/tool provided predictive information on whether an individual patient is likely to suffer MRH in the eight weeks period after leaving hospital.
Commenting on the award, Professor Chakravarthi Rajkumar said: "The issue of medication related harm is a major problem particularly in older adults. Our group has been working on this for a number of years and we have developed various tools to help medical personnel identify vulnerable patients and try and prevent this. This particular tool is very important as it targets the most vulnerable period of the patient pathway eg post discharge. This could be widely implemented across various NHS Trusts and aligns with the national priorities."
The judges for the HSJ Patient Safety Awards said: “This was an ambitious initiative that has led to an increased national awareness and work across five separate NHS organisations. It is an excellent example of multidisciplinary working, which took into account the value that patients and carers themselves could add and has great potential for national adoption.”
Find out more about the HSJ Patient Safety Awards below.
Find out more about the HSJ awards here >