Improving patient safety through integrated Yellow Card reporting

93% of GP practices in the UK will now be able to use their clinical IT system for integrated Yellow Card reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADR) to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The Yellow Card reporting scheme provides early warnings of previously unknown ADRs and further clinical information on known ADRs to various medicines. This can help to identify important safety issues, if the reporting is conducted in a timely and efficient manner.

In recent years, it has been found that Yellow Card reporting of ADR’s was not being maximised, primarily due to the lengthy route of reporting and filling out the form, as well as a lack of knowledge from healthcare professionals about the scheme.

One GP describes his experience:

“I haven’t reported a Yellow Card in years, and it was completely coincidental that a significant issue presented itself in consultation the day before the EMIS Yellow card integration switch-on went live. It was a very straightforward process and I think will massively improve the reporting of ADRs with enough advertising.”

Integrated Yellow Card reporting will ensure patient details are anonymised and provide a more secure and efficient method for busy healthcare professionals to report suspected ADRs. The number of steps required will be reduced as much of the patient and reporter information will be automatically populated through their clinical IT system, for example, EMIS Web. A copy of the report will also be held on the patient’s record, reducing the time needed for filing.

The MHRA have been receiving reports from EMIS Web users since the integrated Yellow Card rollout. The more efficient system should contribute positively to preventative healthcare, enabling the MHRA to continue improvement of medication safety.

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