Kandarp Thakkar is a member of the ImPE Supergroup at the CLAHRC for NWL and the Deputy Chief Pharmacist for Clinical Services at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust. He tweets @KandarpThakkar and is on Linkedin
My Medication Passport is a small, easy-to-read document for patients to show clinicians and carry a record of the medications they are taking. It is designed to help patients get more involved in their care. An initial report on this was featured by the HSJ in August 2012.
The passport was initially developed as part of a joint NIHR CLAHRC NWL (hosted by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital) and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust initiative to improve prescribing for the elderly. It is now being delivered in collaboration with AstraZeneca through a joint working agreement.
The NIHR CLAHRC for Northwest London (CLAHRC NWL) supported the formal launch of My Medication Passport across North West London on the 17th April 2013. This patient tool was made available as paper hand held passport and as a smartphone application for android and iPhone devices. This was associated with a major communications campaign including print and online media, patient-led promotion and launch events.
The passport has been publically endorsed by Simon Denegri, the Chair of INVOLVE – the UK’s national advisory group on public involvement – and NIHR National Director for Public Participation and Engagement in Research.
Since its launch, over 30,000 pocket booklets have already been ordered in pharmacies, hospitals, charities, GP practices, nursing homes and by patients across England and in Scotland and over 2,600 apps have been downloaded, in at least 37 different countries worldwide.
Fran Husson, patient representative with CLAHRC NWL, says “Patient and Public Involvement informs all CLAHRC projects and activities to improve health care using innovative methods. It is therefore not surprising that a group of patients working very closely with front line medical staff on quality improvement projects developed My Medication Passport which brings a new dimension to care by empowering the patient to understand and manage medications across different care settings.”
Surrounding the passport is a comprehensive evaluation plan which aims to show the value of the passport to patients, their healthcare providers and the wider health economy. Initial results from an evaluation of the MMP suggests that more than half of patients (51%) surveyed said it had improved their confidence in talking to HCPs and the majority of patients (70%) took their passport out and about with them. Over 85% of patients would recommend the passport to friends or family.
Analysis of the ‘app’ feedback shows 80% consider the passport app as ‘excellent’ and 73% consider it ‘helpful in keeping an accurate record of medicines and any changes made’. 83% of respondents found the app ‘easy’ to understand, and over 75% said that the passport is something they would recommend a relative or friend.
The passport is a tool designed by patients, for patients. It continues to attract national and international interest. The vision is to have the passport available to every patient across the NHS and beyond.
The passport is available as a pocket booklet, available to be ordered FREE and a FREE downloadable smart phone application for both Android and iPhones from the CLAHRC Website