The Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland has penned a deal with First Databank (FDB) which will see a primary care medicines optimisation solution deployed across the region.

FDB OptimiseRx allows messages to prescribers, which contain important information relevant to a prescribing decision, to be presented in their existing clinical IT system. These messages are tailored to a patient’s specific medical history, and can indicate when particular medicines might be potentially inappropriate or highlight drugs that might be more appropriate for a particular patient.

The messages can also show prescribers when medications might require additional safety measures, such as additional tests or supplementary drugs, and reference relevant national guidance and regional clinical best practice. They can also highlight more cost-effective options when appropriate.

Dr Brenda Bradley, pharmacy lead at the Health and Social Care Board, said: “GPs and other primary care professionals need to make important prescribing decisions every day in very pressurised environments.

“Having information from a prescribing decision support solution will provide them with timely advice around evidenced based, cost-effective prescribing. It will help prescribers to increase the effectiveness, safety and quality of prescribing in primary care and ultimately help to improve outcomes for patients and reduce the risk of medicines related harm.”

The solution is being deployed across the region’s GP practices in a phased approach with the first practices going live in December 2021.

Darren Nichols, managing director at FDB, said: “Busy professionals prescribing medicines just don’t have time to spend searching websites to find the latest guidance when making important decisions for patients.

“I am confident that the introduction of OptimiseRx will help to alleviate some of the pressures faced by GPs at what remains one of the most challenging times for healthcare. I look forward to seeing the impact of the solution in making it easier for professionals to make decisions with the information they need.”

This latest deal is not the only time First Databank has partnered up with Northern Ireland. Back in July 2021, Digital Health News reported on how the pair had teamed up to supply a clinical decision support solution.

First DataBank’s Multilex solution will support HSCNI’s encompass initiative – which aims to introduce a digital integrated care record across Northern Ireland.