Doctors across Tayside are now able to download an app to their Smartphone to help them prescribe appropriate drugs to their patients.

NHS Tayside has worked with web application development company, Softaware, to allow on the spot access to the British National Forumulary.

The app – which the trust calls its ‘medicinal bible’ – allows users to access information on the trust’s formulary website.

They can also make use of search functionality, search history, PDF zoom and quick view so that clinicians can adhere to best prescribing practice. Users can view information without an internet connection, due to a cache facility.

Karen Melville, principal pharmacist at NHS Tayside said: “Some of the feedback from junior doctors told us it was often difficult for them to access the formulary when they need to.

“It’s a handy little device that can be used on the wards. It’s an option to go along with all the other options that we have.”

The health board says it has recieved interest from health professionals beyond Tayside who may be keen to use the technology to suit their own needs.

The trust said it will measure the success of the app, which is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad on how many downloads it gets after its launch last week.

The launch coincides with the opening of NHS Tayside’s Centre of Expertise, which aims to lead the way in healthcare quality improvements, patient safety and innovations in eHealth.

The trust says the centre, which has been developed in conjunction with the University of Dundee, will be able to react to service priorities and bring together expertise in areas such as organisational development and leadership, programme management, data analysis, health economics and information management.

Gerry Marr, chief executive of NHS Tayside said: “It is vital that despite our current challenges we continue to innovate and improve the quality of our services. The Centre and its academy will have a key role in supporting this work.”