A North East company is powering it’s way towards helping save valuable NHS time and reduce medicines waste nationwide, by improving care with technology.
MaPPs – Medicines: A Patient Profile Summary – developed by Northumberland based Mistura Informatics, is an app aimed at medical service providers, providing concise information on all medicines, in less than 250 words. Mistura Informatics is a technology company that develops healthcare systems aimed at helping patients with all their medicines to improve adherence. Improvement in adherence reduces wastage in medicines not being taken and keeps patients well thereby reducing reliance on NHS resources including freeing up GP appointments and reducing admissions to hospital.
Professor Steve Bazire Director of Content at Mistura Informatics says, “ Manufacturers’ patient information leaflets (PIL) are paper-based, complicated by clinical terms, difficult to read and confusing for patients. Healthcare professionals fail to effectively manage to counsel most patients about medicines, contributing to poor adherence with prescribed medication with reduced outcomes plus readmissions.
“Additionally, hospital admissions for adverse drug reactions remain high, with patient morbidity and death and significant NHS costs. Our challenge was to create a technical solution providing up to date, easily understood information containing all a patient’s medications, with additional tools to help manage medicines.”

A finalist in the Health Service Journal’s Improving Care with Technology awards next month, MaPPs was initiated following successful global release of a website about patient information for mental health, www.choiceandmedication.org Due to demand, the choice and medication website is now provided to Australia and New Zealand from Northumberland. The gap however was that there was a need for further, easily comprehensible medicines information for “all other” medicines in the UK and so MaPPs was developed.

Dawn Price, founder and Managing Director of both Mistura Informatics and Mistura Enterprise (trading as Choice & Medication), says: “After the success of Choice and Medication, it became apparent that there was a need for all available medication information to be available in this way because the internet is so inaccurate, out of date and not impartial especially when funded by advertising. Mistura provides high quality and credible patient information written by medical experts,summarised in an easy to understand way. It is delivered as a technological solution with the aim of empowering patients by understanding their medicines. The need for a system to deliver a more broad range of medicines information over mental health medication alone was needed, as people can suffer many chronic conditions together with little access to reliable information for their additional medication.”

The system delivers bespoke patient information on medicines for individual patients. For each medicine this includes up to 250 words about the main information a patient needs to know:
  • What it is
  • What it is for
  • Possible Side Effects
  • Warnings and Cautions
  • How to take it
  • Side effects to take action on
With content written by Professor Steve Bazire, Dr Chris Barclay and Dr Rick Adams, the system  is aimed at all medical services providers prescribing or reviewing medicines. This includes NHS Trusts, Mental Health Trusts, specialist service providers e.g. cancer centres, pharmacists, private hospitals, prison services and GPs. The information is delivered personalised with a patients name on as a pdf file that can be uploaded to clinical system, emailed to the patient’s health service provider and can be printed. Additional tools produced by the system include Medicines Reminder Charts (MRC) and Medicines Administration Record Charts (MAR) both auto-populated from the bespoke patient medicines list. In addition, there is a repository of important safety information and additional resources.
The system was designed and deployed following extensive NHS user testing and usability evaluation. Following several updates, version 2 is being used by nearly 30 organisations nationally. Throughout the project, experienced Clinicans have led and managed the design and system development. In addition, all content information is checked against all available guidance. There is a robust governance system to ensure accuracy of information and patient safety. Due to the process adopted, the programming has enabled editing by the medical director where changes or additions are undertaken in real time. Using IT means that these changes are instantly available to the user of the MaPPs system. This often means that serious problems with a medicine are available on the MaPPs system monographs even before the manufacturer has updated the Specification of Product Characteristics.
With an investment of over £100k, MaPPs app involved two work-streams consisting of a clinical authoring team of doctors and specialist pharmacists creating files for all individual medicines. BNF categorisation provided a template to ensure coverage of all available medicines. This information underwent significant accuracy checking and format development resulting in medicine files of up to 250 words, containing what published research recommends that patients want and need to know about their medicines:
The second work-stream was technological design where system requirements were identified from meetings with clinical team members including doctors, non-medical prescribers, pharmacists and technicians for ease of use to access wherever users require.
Dawn, just completing a Professional Doctorate in IT at Sunderland University, says “With every prescription, a leaflet is provided. Patients are usually confused by the medical jargon and small print, therefore the leaflet usually ends up being binned. The patient then googles the prescribed medication, and due to so much conflicting online information, this usually leads to another GP appointment to clarify the prescription that the patient is too afraid to take. However, some patients decide not to take the prescribed meds at all, which can result in patients being at risk of illness which, in some cases, result in A&E admissions and unnecessary use of our NHS resources.”