Partnership with the Northern Health & Social Care Trust

Digitalis Mm Ltd. operates STEPSelect in partnership with the Northern Health & Social Care Trust (NHSCT) in Northern Ireland. So establishing an initial relationship with the appropriate DMU’s within the NHS, could be accomplished more easily.
This partnership (which started in 2006) is more-dimensional: NHSCT applies, improves and completes the STEPSelect methodology. The professionalisation and integration of selection and procurement in the context of medicines management are leading principles in STEPSelect and within the medical-pharmaceutical community in Northern Ireland as well.

Quality + Safety

NHSCT positions STEPSelect as a double-edged sword represented by the equation Q+S=I+E: Quality + Safety = Improvement + Efficiency. The methodology as such is primary driven by selection criteria such as ‘Quality and Safety’ which are favoured by the medical-pharmaceutical professional community. At the same time the outcomes ‘Improvement and Efficiency’ applies and contributes to the community at large as well.
As Northern Ireland has a programme to improve all aspects of medicines management for several years, the outcomes can be illustrated from both sides of the equation Q+S=I+E: it has achieved significant patient benefits, including a.o. reduced length of stay in hospital and a reduced re-admission rate. It has seen efficiency gains of £140 million, against a medicines expenditure in primary and secondary care of £500 million. STEPSelect played a fundamental and significant role in both achievements.
NHSCT can make these outcomes visible and can help implementing STEPSelect in other medical-pharmaceutical communities and DMU’s within the NHS.
Digitalis Mm can, also on behalf of NHSCT, contract and licence out the STEPSelect productions. These productions are regularly updated and can be assessed and applied online on www.stepselect.com.

STEPSelect as a regional system

The initial project was carried out on a pilot basis within one area of Northern Ireland, but has now been adapted to become the overall regional system. There is a regional steering group, comprising all the key stakeholders that oversee the process for both primary and secondary healthcare sectors. The group also has representation from the pharmaceutical industry in order to facilitate and ensure that the process works transparently from this perspective, as the aim is to ensure that patients have access to the most safe, effective and economic products. In addition, regional expert groups have been set up for each class that is being considered, and they will remain as permanent standing groups, given the dynamic ever changing nature of this area.