Community pharmacist support for patients leaving hospital
TCAM (Transfer of Care Around Medicines) is a programme in Cheshire and Merseyside previously known as E-TCP, or Electronic Transfer of Care to Pharmacy. It has been renamed TCAM to align with a national programme backed by all AHSNs.
When some patients leave hospital, they can need extra support taking their prescribed medicines. This may be because their medicines have changed or they just need a bit of help to make sure they are taking their medicines safely and effectively. Around 60 per cent of patients have three or more changes made to their medicines during a hospital stay. Only ten per cent of elderly patients will be discharged on the same medication they were on previously.
Patients tell us they don't always remember everything they are told in hospital, so it can be very helpful to have someone go through it again, discussing side effects and checking they understand.
The transfer of care process is associated with an increased risk of adverse effects. 30-70% of patients experience unintentional changes to their treatment or an error is made because of a miscommunication.
This is what the Transfers of Care Around Medicine (TCAM) project aims to address.
When a hospital has developed its pathways for electronic transfers of care and has adopted the technology to enable this they identify their patients in hospital who are identified as needing extra support with their medicines, they then refer these patients to the community pharmacist and inform the pharmacist of the details of their discharge medicines, they do this through a safe and secure digital platform. This means that once the patient is discharged they can receive advice and relevant services from their local community pharmacist to help them stay safe with their medicines.