Cerner is to integrate the British National Formulary’s (BNF) medicines information with the Cerner Millennium software for hospital systems in the UK.

Millennium is the software selected for delivery to NHS hospitals in London and the South of England under the NHS IT programme.

Work is underway to deliver Cerner Millennium users with full access to the BNF together with other vital information, such as interactions, dose range checks and commonly used prescription sentences.

As a result, hospital staff members will have access to the most accurate and up-to-date prescribing information at the touch of a button.

Cerner’s managing director, David Sides, told E-Health Insider: “We wanted a tool that would help users select, prescribe and monitor the correct medicines for their patients. Having talked with clinicians, we chose the BNF – often dubbed the ‘drugs bible’ to ensure that at the click of a button, users will have an easy-to-use, familiar resource which will help to support their treatment decisions and help elevate the safety, quality and efficiency of care.”

The BNF is already developed to interface with the NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (dm+d), Connecting for Health’s chosen standard for medicines and device identification, and most recently launched its service for mobile devices.

The BNF is a joint publication of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and the BMJ Group, the publishing arm of the British Medical Association (BMA).

It is currently used daily by over 200,000 health professionals and is available in print and digital formats for standalone computers, networks, handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs) and as integrated decision support within clinical software.

BNF publishing director, Dominic Vaughan, told EHI: “Users of Cerner Millennium will get the unique and trusted information service the BNF strives to deliver. Our interface with the dm+d will mean that users will have fully coded drugs advice sent to them whenever they search a keyword and can look at records and monographs.”

The BNF recently improved the display of BNF preparation records so that they show the corresponding drug monograph. Vaughan said the move emphasised the BNF’s commitment towards “more efficient and safer prescribing practices and 92% of users already support the change.”

Coding work to integrate the BNF with Cerner Millennium is now completed and Cerner say they are looking for trusts to trial the system before rolling it out to all users next year.

Sides said: “Trusts will receive access to information on drugs and advice immediately at the point of prescribing. We are looking at finding trusts to trial this medicines management now and hope to go live with the system next year once we have established that the solution is right for users in the UK. The BNF will ensure trusts consider all risks from drugs before prescribing including dosages and contraindications.”