Despite the wealth of technology available, the NHS Scottish Drug Tariff is still distributed through bulky Excel spreadsheets. We developed Rx Tariff as part of the Digital Health Product Forge 2019 to improve the system for those working in the industry and the patients at the receiving end.
The NHS Drug Tariff communicates the rate at which the NHS will reimburse pharmacies for the drugs they dispense. If the tariff lists a drug for 100p, then the pharmacy will be paid £1 for dispensing it. This is a crucial part of business for independent community pharmacies, who rely on being able to dispense drugs to turn a profit and ensure their survival. Independent community pharmacies will aim to dispense the drug for no more than the tariff rate, but ideally below it.
Currently, the tariff is updated monthly and distributed via Excel spreadsheets. With amendments and updates made throughout the month, it becomes a confusing process rife with duplication, creating a poor end experience for those who rely on the tariff to do their job.
The Add Jam team decided that we can make this better. We created a simple web app that parses the tariff into our database and presents it in a clean, searchable table. Users can drill down into a drug and gain insight into the past tariff rate, clearly showing trends. The search and sort functions make it easier and faster to navigate the tariff, saving crucial time and resources that can be used elsewhere.
We put this together in less than a day, and it’s already a vast improvement on the outdated process that is currently used. For simplicity’s sake, we wanted this product to be as clutter free as possible and to work across multiple device types with ease. As part of the process, we partnered with several independent community pharmacies to ensure the product gives the pharmacists real benefit over the existing ways of working.
The end result? A digital solution that saves time where it’s needed most. The Rx Tariff makes healthcare professional’s jobs that little bit easier so that they can focus on the crucial role of patient care.