What is Medicines Optimisation?
Medicines Optimisation is all about helping people get the best from medicines by listening to their needs and jointly deciding on the best medicine, the best way to obtain and take the medicine and providing the best advice and follow up care for that person.
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 (also see person-centred care page).
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. The key components to achieve improved patient outcomes are understanding the patient's experience, evidence based choice of medicines, ensuring medicines use is as safe as possible and making medicines optimisation part of routine practice. The patient is central to achieving the best care with their medicines.
Understand the patient’s experience
There are a wide range of resources to help you support patients with their medicines. Paitents and carers should be involved in their care with medicines. HEE is committed to ensuring that the patient and public voice is at the centre of what we do. Putting patients at the heart of the education, training and workforce planning process will ensure a better connection between the decisions and investments we make and the quality of care and experience patients.
Evidence-based choice of medicines
Good sources of information based on the most up to date scientific evidence about medicines are important to help make informed choices. Some examples are
- Electronic British National Formulary
- NHS Choices Website
- Specialist Pharmacy Service - Medicines
- Ask your Pharmacist
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
Ensure medicines use is as safe as possible
Our priority is that patients receive safe, effective treatment. We support the use of Local Formularies and Medicines Policies which are developed through local collaboration of healthcare professionals. We support safe handling of medicines through training our workforce. Patient Safety and Human Factors Training is important to support everyone involved with medicines.
Make medicines optimisation part of routine practice
This is simply using every opportunity to engage people in conversations about their medicines, Making Every Contact Count (MECC) provides us with resources to support this process, whether this is a planned or chance opportunity. Many open resources are available to develop Consultation Skills which can be used formally or informally.