Tag Archives: patient tracker

Conducting your own audit of evidence

Apr 2012

Getting evidence from services is no longer a luxury for pharmacy. With the new NHS bill, every healthcare professional and service will have to demonstrate value if they want a future.
However, collating evidence has been a particular challenge for pharmacy – pharmacists are not in the habit of documenting the value of their services and they often don’t have the means to do this efficiently, relying too much on paper.
Conducting an audit and gathering evidence for your service is easier if you have an online recording system and the PSNC are going that way with Pharmabase.
When it comes to your weight management service, the evidence from your audit can be compelling. Using the Lipotrim Patient Tracker, you can pull off data to demonstrate benefits using a range of criteria, for example by gender, BMI, age and co-morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes, all at the click of a button. It allows you to continuously audit your pharmacy service for evidence based commissioning while at the same time monitor and support your patients and cut down on paperwork and filing.
Getting started is easy. Draw up objectives and then decide on what evidence you want to present, to whom and for when. Set aside time to become familiar with the Lipotrim Patient Tracker or simply book a quick 20-minute online demo to see it in action and get your first patient record in place.


Setting up a successful weight management service

Feb 2012

A weight management service can help you meet both your professional and business objectives. The first step to setting up your service is to recognize the business opportunity as well as the professional contribution you can make to the health of your community. Pharmacy is a primary healthcare provider for weight management services and the widespread need for effective weight control will direct customers to the pharmacy providing the most effective service. Properly run, a weight management programme will substantially increase footfall and lead to extended customer loyalty. Decide on a service specification that will provide the evidence of efficacy, the equipment you need and the SOPs, staff training and continued support for your programme.
You need to think about how you bring the customers in. In-store posters and leaflets, local GP surgeries and sports centres and tie-ins with national campaigns are all good sources of new business, but the best source of new people is the impact successful dieters have on their relatives, friends and acquaintances. Paying proper attention to the protocols of the programme will pay off big time.
And don’t forget about evaluating your service and the positive health outcomes to your population. Gathering evidence for this puts you in a strong position for further funding from local commissioning groups and getting involved in the Healthy Living Pharmacy initiative.
Lipotrim Pharmacy supports you in all the above, from training and CPD, to tools to promote your service and right through
to evidence gathering thanks to the Lipotrim Patient Tracker.



The NHS is reported to be spending £9 billion a year treating diabetes ineffectively File on Four. BBC Radio 4 21 February 2012.)

3-2imgPerhaps the most important contributory cause to the rise in diabetes in recent years is overweight and obesity, yet a cost-effective, evidence-based option for treating the condition appears to be being overlooked. Rapid weight loss using a very low calorie diet (VLCD) regime has been shown to normalise blood sugar levels within a few days, requiring withdrawal of hypoglycaemic medication. 1,2 VLCD also lowers the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Bariatric surgery is another recognised method of weight reduction for obese patients with diabetes. However, the effect
on blood sugar is stronger with VLCD than with bariatric surgery as post-surgical nutrition includes a significant amount of carbohydrate, thus preventing the rapid utilisation of blood sugar and glycogen stores fundamental in a ketogenic VLCD. Furthermore, while there are around three quarters of a million patients who meet the NICE criteria for eligibility for bariatric surgery, the health system barely begins to meet the demand and last year less than 9000 operations, NHS and private combined, were performed.

Lipotrim is a well-established VCLD programme, supervised by GPs or pharmacists, which has been running successfully for over 25 years. GPs can monitor their patients on the programme themselves, although the monitoring task is usually provided by pharmacists who also supply the Total Food Replacement products. The programme has the additional advantage of being cost neutral to the NHS as the products are not ordinarily prescribed, while the cost to patients is usually more than compensated by the reduction in their food bills. Lipotrim refeeding and maintenance programmes are available for patients to maintain their weight at the reduced level once a target has been achieved.

Abundant evidence is available of the success of Lipotrim VLCD programmes run in UK pharmacies. More than 2000 pharmacies offer the service and many record their patients’ progress using Patient Tracker software, which produces
detailed audits providing substantial evidence of efficacy across a wide spectrum of patients and medical conditions. For example, audit results from 400 patients treated in one pharmacy have recorded an average weight loss of 11% across all clients after three or more weeks on the Lipotrim programme. 3
Percentage of initial weight lost by patients in this group reached as high as 37%. Average percentage weight loss rose with increasing BMI at outset, from 9% loss in clients with a BMI of 25-30, to 13% with starting BMI of 35-40 and 21% for those with starting BMI of 45-50. The figures also show that weight losses were maintained during refeeding and maintenance after dieting. There is also evidence from the Tracker that an average weight loss of around 14% can be
achieved on the Lipotrim programme by hypothyroid patients, who generally experience great difficulty with weight
management. And average weight losses of 12-13% in patients with hypertension and depression, conditions to which
excess weight can be a contributory factor, have also been shown.

For further information, contact Valerie Beeson, Clinical Programme Director, Howard Foundation Research Ltd. Cambridge UK. E-mail: obesity@lipotrim.demon.co.uk. Phone:01223 812812.

1. Paisey RB, et al. An intensive weight loss programme in established type 2 diabetes and controls: effects on weight and
atherosclerosis risk factors at 1 year. Diabet Med.1998; 15:73-9.
2. Paisey RB, et al. Five year results of a prospective very low calorie diet or conventional weight loss programme in type 2 diabetes. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2002;15:121-7.)
3. Pharmacist Gareth Evans, Waistaway Ltd. Data on file.

PDF version:3-2-BMJ-May-2012