... ensuring effective, efficient & sustainable care
Ensuring patient safety should be a priority for everyone involved in healthcare. Quality improvement is a core component of our work to provide the best possible service to our patients.
At Pathhead Medical Centre we are committed to ensuring quality of care. We participate in a continuous cycle of quality improvement work, as well as delivering the day-to-day service of seeing patients in the surgery and at home, and providing prescriptions.
What is quality of care?
Quality of care is defined in various ways, and the various projects that we have running at any time reflect this. We aim to deliver effective, efficient and sustainable care to our patients.
Isn't this just about saving money?
Ensuring efficient use of limited NHS resources is an important part of what we do, and we do participate in a number of Lothian-wide initiatives which encourage changing some medications to suitable less expensive but equally effective alternatives.
But most of the prescribing projects that we undertake are about improving treatment as recommended by the most recent evidence (research) results.
How will this affect me?
As part of the quality work we do, you might receive a letter asking you to come in and see a doctor to review one of your medications, or to offer a new more effective treatment.
You may also notice new systems in place when you make appointments or request prescriptions - these new systems are the result of careful planning to improve your safety or convenience.
What projects are running at the moment?
We are currently participating in a Midlothian project to reduce the use of hypnotics (sleeping tablets) and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications) where appropriate, to reduce the risks of over-sedation, falls and medication dependence.
We are also reviewing the way that we process prescriptions, to improve efficiency and safety of medication reviews. A separate project is also running to consolidate medications for the frail elderly.
How have projects in the past improved my care or the service the practice offers?
The practice ran a successful project last year looking at patient access to appointments with the right person at the right time. In response to the results of this we have increased the number of nurse appointments that we offer, have employed an additional GP to offer more appointments, as well as an extra receptionist to deal with your queries and prescriptions.
Other examples of recent projects include reducing antibiotic use, offering screening for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to at-risk patients, reviewing patients on migraine medication to offer them preventative treatments, and improving the safety of monitoring systems for potentially dangerous medications like warfarin (blood thinner) and arthritis drugs such as methotrexate.
COPD screening poster
How can I get involved?
From time to time we may ask you to complete a questionnaire or survey about the care that you have received, and we welcome your constructive feedback. There may also be opportunities to join a patient participation group to help shape future service delivery - if you would like to volunteer for this then please give your name and contact details to the Practice Manager.