The new online edition of the latest BNF for Children – BNFC 2008 – will include a new interface to the NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (dm+d).

The BNF says this is intended to provide healthcare professionals with seamless access to BNFC content on the internet using NHS dm+d codes, “helping them to make the best treatment decisions for their patients.”

In this fourth edition the BNFC has been edited to include details with new information they may need to tackle recent controversial health concerns in young people, including rising rates of teenage pregnancy and the increasing incidence of sexually transmitted infections.

Published by the BMJ Group, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group, BNFC 2008 has been fully revised and updated.

Revised guidance on the treatment and prevention of urinary-tract infections, new advice on the use of all forms of contraception, including emergency contraception and a new section on the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease to further expand the guidance on management of sexually transmitted infections also feature in the guide, which is now available in print, online or PDA formats.

A spokesperson told EHI Primary Care: “The is a fundamental step towards more efficient and safer prescribing practices and provides a means of directly accessing BNFC information from within the healthcare professional’s workflow.”

The interface can be accessed by appending an NHS dm+d code to a programmatically generated BNFC URL.

Once clinical systems have been configured to generate these URLs, the links between the NHS dm+d and BNFC will provide health professionals with instant access to its concise, authoritative and up-to-date prescribing information to support their clinical decisions.

Professor Martin Kendall, chairman of the Formulary Development Committee, at BNFC healthcare, said: “This year, to protect young people from cervical cancer, updated advice on human papilloma virus vaccine which will be offered to all girls aged 12–13 years from September, has been included.

“Also, noting the national concerns about sexual activity in the young, BNFC 2008 has new sections on contraception and additional guidance on the treatment of sexually transmitted infections. The BNFC is the national guide on managing the diseases of today and protecting children and young people from the medical problems of tomorrow.”

The BNFC has been extensively revised and updated, checked by national experts and improved by the comments of paediatricians, nurses, pharmacists and dentists who have been using it to help them treat children safely and effectively over the last four years.

The interface will allow users direct access to BNFC information about a selected medicinal product from within a clinical system.

As clinicians are working, prescribing or dispensing a medicine during a clinical encounter, it is now possible with a single click to access the relevant BNFC information for that medicine. For example, more information on the administration of continuous IV infusions in neonatal intensive care to reduce medication errors when calculating infusion rates.

Similarly, library or local formulary systems can use the interface to provide links from their material directly to corresponding BNFC content.