GPs and pharmacists presented with new digital-dashboard as part of Greater Manchester’s response to predicted ‘post-antibiotic apocalypse’

Manchester icon Greater Manchester

Posted on the 18th June 2018

Connected Health Cities (CHC) will today (18 June) meet with GPs and pharmacists from across the region and unveil an innovative new web tool designed to help tackle the global antibiotic crisis.

The secure digital-dashboard, known as BRIT, re-uses the data collected by GPs and pharmacists and allows practice staff to explore when it is necessary to prescribe an antibiotic and – when appropriate – which antibiotic should be used.

At the meeting, the research team behind the dashboard will consult the health professionals attending.  Their feedback will ensure BRIT is effective, easy to use and that it offers maximum benefit for GPs, pharmacists and ultimately patients and citizens.

The issue of antibiotic resistance has in recent years received international attention.  In order to reduce the ‘just in case’ prescribing mentality that is often cited by doctors, the Chief Medical Officer of England and Wales Dame Sally Davies called for better data and reporting about inappropriate prescribing and has referred to the issue as a ‘catastrophic threat’.

To best respond to this call, the BRIT dashboard draws directly from the trends that CHC analysts have uncovered from years of research into the creation and implementation of successful dashboard projects like the Salford Medication Safety Dashboard and PINGR

“We know that a one-size fits all approach is unlikely to work; patients in one community can have very different health needs or patient profiles from those living in another.  Equally, different health conditions and treatment guidelines call for different types of antibiotics and health professionals need personalised data to navigate the variety of options they face.

“The BRIT dashboard clearly shows GPs how their prescribing differs from those of other surgeries in the same city and further, it helps them explore the symptoms, diseases and other patient characteristics that make up their practice. We hope it will also help them to better target antibiotics to patients at high risk of infection-related complications.”

Prof. Tjeerd Van staa

CHC analysts working at The University of Manchester have also previously found that it can be difficult for GPs to explain decisions about whether or not to prescribe in short consultations.  As a response CHC researchers are also planning to develop data-led tools that will better support communication with patients.

Having recently received ethics approval to move ahead with the project, the dashboard is now starting to roll-out across Greater Manchester.  Feedback obtained from the event will be used to further enhance the dashboard for the GP practices that take part; this could for example include added functionality to track lab results to see how much antibiotic resistance there is in the area.

Ends

Notes:

  1. BRIT stands for Building Rapid Interventions to Tackle antibiotic resistance.
  2. The project also involves a trial of a separate dashboard, Atmolytics, produced by Imosphere
  3. The dashboard is build using R’s Shiny software

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