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What is Medicines Optimisation?

Medicines Optimisation is all about helping people get the best from their medicines by listening to their needs and jointly deciding on the best medicine and the best way forward with their health, their care and their medicines. We can all play a part in supporting medicines optimisation, whether as a patient, carer, teacher, community worker, health or social care staff, it is all about supporting patients as individuals. 

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the professional body for pharmacists provides the following guidance Medicines Optimisation: Helping patients to make the most of medicines. This good practice guidance has been developed for a range of healthcare professionals. There are four guiding principles to achieve improved patient outcomes which are: aim to understand the patient's experience, evidence based choice of medicines, ensure medicines use is as safe as possible, make medicines optimisation part of routine practice.

Remember that the patient is central to achieving the best care with their medicines.

Understand the patient’s experience

Our priority is to encourage open and honest discussions with patients and their carers on how to obtain, take, and report on the effects of medicines in their everyday lives. We need to support the personal hopes and desires of patients in managing their conditions, their medicines and general health. We must understand and respect patient's views and decisions concerning medicines use and find ways to help them get the best from the medicines they take. 


Evidence-based choice of medicines

Through education and training we will work together for the most appropriate selection of medicines which best suits the needs of the patient. In order to do this we should review medicines regularly and provide the best advice and follow up care for patients. By reviewing changes in health and conditions we should understand that patient's needs may change and that this might affect how they use their medicines. It may mean that some medicines are stopped, or that more appropriate medicines are started. This helps to reduce medicines waste and better manage costs. 



Ensure medicines use is as safe as possible

Our priority is that patients receive safe, effective treatment from the whole healthcare team. This means staff work with patients and their carers to reduce medication errors and avoid harm from medicines. The healthcare team promotes safe systems of work by sharing knowledge on safety issues and report adverse reactions. We encourage patients to discuss unwanted effects of medicines and how to use, store and dispose of medicines safely. When patients move care settings staff work together to ensure the patient is in control of their medicines and care.

Make medicines optimisation part of routine practice

We will take every opportunity to ensure patients get the best from the medicines they take, the most appropriate advice on improving their health, and the most suitable information sources for their continued care. The entire healthcare team takes an active interest in their patients medicines and health and works together to resolve issues and improve communications. Patients feel they can approach any member of the healthcare team to discuss their medicines and care.

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