Quality statement 5: Updating information on drug allergy status

Quality statement

People with a new diagnosis of drug allergy who are being referred or discharged have their drug allergy status updated in all GP referral and hospital discharge letters.

Rationale

Updating information on drug allergy status and sharing this information among services is important for improving patient safety and reducing the costs associated with treating allergic reactions. Improved communication between primary and secondary healthcare providers will also allow safe prescription of alternative drugs and reduce inappropriate drug avoidance. Full details of the drug and allergic reaction are important if the same drug is needed again and also improve diagnostic accuracy if the patient needs specialist investigation of the allergy.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that people with a new diagnosis of drug allergy who are being referred or discharged have their drug allergy status updated in all GP referral and hospital discharge letters.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

a) Proportion of GP referral letters for people with a new diagnosis of drug allergy with updated drug allergy status.

Numerator – the number in the denominator with updated drug allergy status.

Denominator – the number of GP referral letters for people with a new diagnosis of drug allergy.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Proportion of hospital discharge letters for people with a new diagnosis of drug allergy with updated drug allergy status.

Numerator – the number in the denominator with updated drug allergy status.

Denominator – the number of hospital discharge letters for people with a new diagnosis of drug allergy.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

a) Mortality.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Repeat allergic drug reactions.

Data source: Local data collection.

c) Length of hospital stay.

Data source: Local data collection.

d) Inappropriate avoidance of drugs.

Data source: Local data collection.

e) Anaphylaxis.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals, and commissioners

Service providers (primary and secondary care services) ensure that healthcare professionals update drug allergy status in all GP referral and hospital discharge letters for people with a new diagnosis of drug allergy.

Healthcare professionals update drug allergy status in all GP referral and hospital discharge letters for people with a new diagnosis of drug allergy.

Commissioners (NHS England area teams and clinical commissioning groups) commission services in which healthcare professionals update information on drug allergy status in all GP referral and hospital discharge letters for people with a new diagnosis of drug allergy.

What the quality statement means for patients, service users and carers

People have any new information about drug allergy added to their records. The information is also included by their GP in all letters referring them to a hospital or clinic, and in all letters sent to their GP when they leave hospital.

Source guidance

  • Drug allergy (2014) NICE guideline CG183, recommendation 1.2.7.