Northern Ireland's GPs to get prescribing decision support with FDB OptimiseRx

Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Board signs contract with FDB to deploy its primary care medicines optimisation solution to practices across the region. Significant benefits are expected for busy staff along with better outcomes for patients.

GPs and other primary care prescribers across Northern Ireland will for the first time have access to decision support technology at the point of prescribing, following a new agreement that will help health professionals enhance patient safety and improve medicine cost effectiveness. 

FDB OptimiseRx is a medicines optimisation solution that works by enabling the presentation of messages to prescribers in their existing clinical IT system that contain important information relevant to a prescribing decision. 

Messages displayed 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.

Adoption of the solution will provide GPs with easy access to information during patient consultations, reducing the need to spend time referring to external sources. 

Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Board announced OptimiseRx will be deployed across the region’s GP practices in a phased approach and the first practices went live in December 2021. The decision to procure OptimiseRx was made by a project board with a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from GP federations and the general practitioners committee. 

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 expected to become a key enabler of Northern Ireland’s Pharmaceutical Clinical Effectiveness Programme, which aims to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of medicines management in health and social care services. 

Darren Nichols, Managing Director at FDB (First Databank), 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.”


More on FDB and Northern Ireland: FDB Multilex to provide clinical decision support to encompass, Health and Social Care Northern Ireland’s transformation initiative. Read the press release.


About the Health and Social Care Board
The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) is a statutory organisation that commissions health and social care services for the population of Northern Ireland. The HSCB is accountable to the Health Minister, for turning their vision for health and social care into a range of services that delivery high quality and safe outcomes for patient and service users, are good value for the taxpayer, and comply with statutory duties.

About FDB
FDB (First Databank), part of the Hearst Health network, is the leading provider of drug knowledge that helps healthcare professionals make precise decisions. With thousands of customers worldwide, FDB enables our information system developer partners to deliver valuable, useful, and differentiated solutions. We offer four decades of experience in transforming medical knowledge into actionable, targeted, and effective solutions that help improve patient safety, operational efficiency, and healthcare outcomes. 

About FDB OptimiseRx
FDB OptimiseRx® is the leading medicines optimisation solution for primary care in the UK. OptimiseRx combines evidence-based best practice, safety and cost-effective prescribing messages, and delivers them in real time at the point of care during the prescribing workflow. 

In use in more than 4,000 GP practices covering over 40.5m patients across the UK, OptimiseRx is the gold standard for prescribing decision support and medicines optimisation.

OptimiseRx is the only solution that delivers patient-specific prescribing guidance, integrated with prescribing workflows, supporting medicines optimisation at the point of care, in key clinical systems like EMIS Web and TPP SystmOne. Tailored to the patient medical record, OptimiseRx takes into consideration current and previous medications, morbidities, observations and measurements to support prescribers to make the safest, most clinically appropriate prescribing decision.

Media contacts
Jon Salmon 
Highland Marketing on behalf of FDB
+44 (0)7827 291901

Matthew D’Arcy 
Highland Marketing on behalf of FDB
+44 (0)7551 171571