Medicines optimisation is a multidisciplinary and patient-focused approach to achieving the best patient outcomes from the use of medicines. It involves the use of medicines to control disease while ensuring that adverse effects are kept to a minimum.
This article explores strategies that enable nurses to take an increasingly active role in medicines optimisation. In its conclusion the authors suggest that to ensure medicines optimisation, nurses should be involved in monitoring patients’ signs and symptoms using a structured checklist such as the ADRe (Adverse Drug Reaction Profile) to identify and address any medicines-related harms.
Aims of this article
- To recognise the reasons why medicines-related harm remains an issue
- To refresh your knowledge of the aims of medicines optimisation
- To identify potential strategies that you could use in your area of practice to reduce the risk of medicines-related harm
- Most adverse drug reactions are due to known side effects, and are predictable, dose-dependent and potentially preventable
- The shift from medicines management to the patient-focused outcomes of medicines optimisation means increased engagement in pharmacotherapeutics for all healthcare professionals, including nurses
- Despite the recommendations aimed at promoting medicines optimisation, medicines-related harm persists among patients
- Potential strategies for reducing medicines-related harm include monitoring patients, structured multidisciplinary working, patient involvement and promoting a nurse-led approach