Pan Mersey Area Prescribing Committee Website
Midlands and Lancashire CSU Medicines Management team commissioned a new website on behalf of the Pan Mersey Area Prescribing Committee (APC). Pan Mersey APC is a professional group consisting of GPs, Pharmacists, and other key healthcare professionals. The Committee is responsible for making recommendations of medicines, especially high cost medicines, across the Merseyside and Warrington footprint.
The MLCSU IT Application Development team were approached by the MLCSU Medicines Management Team to create a new website for Pan Mersey APC.
Pan Mersey APC had a mature, popular website serving multiple Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS Trusts. Their website was built using static html pages by a skilled member of their team, this however limited who was able to maintain their site in his absence. Pan Mersey APC additionally required that the site be designed to create a strong identity and expressed a desire to maintain the current features from their existing website.
What we did
The MLCSU IT Application Development team collaborated with the MLCSU Medicines Management team to draw up a comprehensive specification. From this a project plan was produced allowing stakeholders to see the key deliverable dates and project board meeting dates.
As the site featured a requirement for some specific design work the MLCSU Communications team were tasked with producing a graphical design for the Pan Mersey APC site. Once the design was signed off it was then turned into a functional responsive website by the MLCSU IT Applications team using the latest version of the popular open source .Net Content Management System, Umbraco.
Our team of experienced developers then moved on to creating the complex document categorisation and tagging facilities which are the backbone of the website. Following testing and deployment to a test environment Pan Mersey APC and MLCSU Medicines Management were able to see, use and be trained, via MLCSU’s IT Training team on site. When all parties were happy the site it was then deployed to the Microsoft Azure hosting environment with an appropriate SSL certificate.
The creation of a new website for Pan Mersey APC has helped to:
- Allow NHS Organisations from various parts of Merseyside & Warrington to get up to the minute medicines management guidance with a few easy clicks.
- Create a new fit for purpose mobile friendly website using open source technology hosted securely on Microsoft Azure.
- Decrease the reliance on a single administrator, allowing multiple administrators the ability to amend the site as and when is required.
- Reduce duplication of online documents thanks to the extensive document categorisation options allowing detailed drug documentation to be displayed in multiple sections without the need for different copies of a file.
- The addition of a cascading filtering system allowing users of the site, medical professionals, to easily filter drugs by date, CCG, therapeutic group, alphabetically or a combination of these.
- Technical changes and upgrades to the site can be scheduled and rolled out using Microsoft Azure DevOps pipelines allowing for greater resilience and business continuity improvements.
I spent a number of years hard coding a website with weekly updates. The website was a legacy from before the CSU and updating it manually lacked any resilience. I met with the MLCSU IT Application Development team and we designed a new site based on a content management system that could be handled by staff with a wider skill set. All during the initial design, launch and ongoing development the IT team have been friendly, helpful and responsive.
Clients benefit from a modern, mobile-first design, presenting decisions from the area prescribing committee in a readable format when using mobile devices away from the office. Any trained colleague can upload new content, specialist skills are no longer required. This resilience assures commissioners that the CSU team will always be able to meet their key performance indicators for publishing documents and updating the website despite resource pressure in the CSU team.
CCGs and Trusts are guaranteed access to the latest prescribing recommendations as the site search results are now contemporaneous with recent uploads. Historical problems with browser caching are a thing of the past.
I have no reservation in recommending the MLCSU IT Application Development team. Their committed and supportive service is a credit to them.
Kieron Donlon | Senior Prescribing Advisor | MLCSU Medicines Management Team
If you're interested in a bespoke website or application to help drive efficiencies & cost improvements please contact us, we'd be delighted to hear from you.