Medication mistakes are a consistent problem. A 2018 study from the University of Manchester estimated that 237 million medication errors occur in the NHS in England every year and stated avoidable adverse drug reactions cause hundreds of deaths.

Recent updates to our system have led to enhanced functionality. Extended application programming interfaces (APIs) and Medicines Decision Support is now available to help clinicians make the right decisions about which medications a patient needs and when traditionally, part of the problem is that there is no single view of a patient’s medicines that can be shared and accessed across all care settings.

The Orion Health Amadeus health data platform makes it possible to view clinical information from a range of third-party sources, across a variety of care settings. But Medicines Platform makes it possible to aggregate and actively manage medication information within a single, consolidated record that can be trusted by clinicians and caregivers. In so doing, it has the power to reduce medication duplication and error.

This single source of easily accessible truth becomes even more important in the context of covid-19. With remote working increasing – including remote consultations with patients – being able to monitor what has happened in multiple remote settings, and to understand a patient’s clinical history without the benefit of face to face consultation, is particularly valuable.

A clear timeline view with enhanced decision support

Recent updates to Medicines Platform mean it can contribute even more effectively to increased safety and efficiency:

  • Medicines Viewer provides an intuitive view of a patient’s medicines across all settings. Its timeline display makes it easy for clinicians across settings to understand which medicines were prescribed for a patient when and by whom – regardless of whether the prescription was issued in the community or during inpatient care. Users can view medication lists at acute transitions of care, GP and community prescriptions, identify current medications, and even group medicines by date, encounter or care setting. It is also now possible to review immunisation records – an increasingly important ability now the Covid-19 vaccination programme is underway.
  • Medicines Decision Support helps clinicians make the right decisions about safe use of medications for a patient. Its algorithms identify current medications, automatically alerts in the event a duplicate therapy has been prescribed, displays drug information, local drug alerts and supports understanding of a patient’s adherence to a treatment.

These additions complement the longstanding core components of Medicines Platform:

  • Medicines Management assists in reconciling, prescribing and optimising medications, so supporting safe transfers of care. This can be particularly valuable when managing admissions and discharges from a hospital setting but is increasingly relevant and being used within community settings.
  • Problems and Allergies takes information from multiple sources and curates, reconciles and manages a patient’s problems list, including adverse drug reactions, allergies, clinical alerts and conditions. This helps support safe and effective medication management.

Medicines Platform fully integrates with the rest of Orion Health’s product suite, including those for care coordination, virtual care and patient engagement, bringing this crucial consolidated information to a variety of workflows and use cases for the benefit of patient care.

Supporting integration between organisations and across regions

Orion Health is dedicated to interoperability and non-proprietary setups. To this end, Medicines Platform supports SNOMED-CT medication terminologies and uses HL7 FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) open standards. Put simply, this allows Medicines Platform to read, access and make sense of information about medicines from other pieces of software– but also to share the information it consolidates.

The Consolidated Medication List FHIR API ‘normalises’ the data imported from other systems – in other words, it aggregates and organises the data, making sure drug descriptions, brand names, codes and dose instructions are consolidated during the process – and then creates one current medication list which displays in Medicines Viewer.

This API also means Medicines Platform can share a list of medicines with third-party software. This could be used to, for instance, present the patient with one clear list of his or her medicines via a patient portal provided by a supplier other than Orion Health. Or it could be used within a hospital electronic patient record to support safe and effective admission and discharge, or efficient outpatient care.

In short, Medicines Platform fully supports interoperability. In so doing, it supports better integration between organisations and across regions, all the while bolstering safety and efficiency.

A valuable next step on your journey to better care

Whether you already have some aspect of Medicines in place or simply have the integrated digital care record, we believe Medicines Platform is a valuable next step on your journey to better care.

It doesn’t only bolster the safety and efficiency of your organisation’s or region’s use of medicines, leading to better patient care at a lower cost. It also slots seamlessly into an integrated approach to delivering care, centred on interoperability and open standards.

Whether you’re responsible for digitisation, for medicines safety, or for efficiency, Medicines Platform is worth exploring as the next step for your shared care record or local health and care record (LHCR).

We’re always delighted to talk through Medicines Platform and explore how it might make a difference for you, your colleagues, your organisation and your region. We can also talk through the difference the Medicines solution has already made for a number of organisations around the world.

To find out more, just get in touch:
Aaron Jackson, Medicines Product Director, Orion Health