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Prescribing Decision Support

Accessible, intuitive and knowledge based e-media solutions - supporting healthcare professionals' decision-making in prescribing and medicines optimisation.

Computerised Decision Support

Defined as the 'provision of assessments or prompts specific to the patient and selected from a knowledge base on the basis of individual patient data' (Hunt et al, 1998), computerised decision support offers the potential for improved clinical practice (Kawamoto et al, 2005; Kings Fund 2013) and is congruent with both NICE's ongoing efforts to improve practical implementation of guidelines and its drive to improve the uptake of innovative technologies in the NHS.

Our computerised decision support tools provide accessible, patient-tailored and guidance-based prescribing recommendations at the point of care.  Each recommendation is generated by the tool's software cross-referencing patient-specific profiles with multiple treatment algorithms which mirror national guidance.  The prescribing recommendation - initiation, switching/adding, dosage adjustments - is explicitly referenced and supplemented by further prescribing information for the respective medicine - reason for commendation, contraindications, warnings and cautions, side-effect, etc.  All supporting information is accessible within the software at the click of a button.

Our NICE-endorsed decision support tool "Anticoagulation therapy for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in atrial fibrillation" is available here.

Shared Care

Effective shared care agreements (ESCA) are essential in ensuring consistency of care as drugs move from secondary to primary care.  Whilst their importance will undoubtedly grow as GPs assume greater responsibility in the commissioning of medicines, ESCAs are time-consuming and resource intensive to produce.

Our ESCA toolkit (available from: is an open-access, free-to-use resource that provides healthcare professionals with a pre-populated electronic shared care template for a given medicine.  They are designed to greatly simplify and speed up the process for healthcare professionals engaged in drawing up local policy and shared care protocols.

Medicines Optimisation

Our series of 'Medicines Optimisation' websites are comprehensive online resources providing healthcare professionals and patients with practical guidance on the evidence-based choice of medicines. Summarising up to date evidence and research, the sites discuss many of the practical issues associated with the most clinically appropriate and cost-effective use of treatments. Each site provides instant access to information about the available formulations of medicines, links to additional tools, publications, guidelines and educational materials; all content is fully referenced.

Two sites are currently online - Medicines Optimisation in Patients with Insomnia ( and Medicines Optimisation in Patients with Dysphagia (

If you would like further information regarding our work in decision support please feel free to contact us at