New in: Safe prescribing of medicines

Medicines optimisation has been in the spotlight with the publication of the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) report on overprescribing, and the release of NHS Digital’s new information standard notice to support the safe transfer of medicines information. Information standards are crucial to ensuring the safe prescribing and transfer of medical information and PRSB welcomes both the report and directive to help meet this aim.

The PRSB encourages the adoption of PRSB care record standards, which will help local NHS organisations deliver the DHSC’s report’s recommendations for safe prescribing.

The report recommends that medicines reconciliation becomes the norm when people are discharged from one service to another, such as from hospital back to the GP. Medicines reconciliation is the process of identifying differences in what the prescribing records says a patient should be taking, compared to the medicines the patient is in fact receiving and taking, and these discrepancies can occur when a patient is transferred from one care setting to another. PRSB’s eDischarge Standard and Medications Information Standard support medicines reconciliation and we are pleased the report recognises their importance.

The PRSB’s Community Pharmacy Standard supports better information sharing between GP practices and community pharmacists including structured medications reviews as is recommended in the report to support reconciliation and medication optimisation.

You can read PRSB’s full response to DHSC’s report here.

In addition, NHS Digital are publishing a new Information Standard Notice (ISN) on 1st October, to support the safe transfer of medicines information between settings. The ISN is based on UK Core FHIR Profiles, which are developed directly from the PRSB information standards for meds and allergies. The ISN also includes detailed guidance on how to communicate medication doses and timings digitally between systems, which was originally developed by NHS Digital in 2019 with supporting guidance provided by PRSB.         

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