Prescribing and administration

In 2015 a medicines ‘infographic’ was developed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland as a prompt for healthcare professionals when discussing the safer use of medicines. This resource provided key facts and figures regarding medicines and outlined key national initiatives that aim to ensure the safer use of medicine.

Achieving safe and effective prescribing practices in mental health care requires an understanding of the elements that contribute to a patient's successful discharge from an inpatient unit. The implementation of prescribing practices, such as open communication, collaboration with healthcare providers, can improve compliance with treatment and reduce the risk of overdose and suicide. It can also help ensure a smooth transition to the next care provider care and facilitate good outcomes for patients.

  • Value of specific prescribing practices in three important areas in achieving the safe and seamless discharge of psychiatric patients from an inpatient psychiatry unit. The three areas are - treatment adherence, prevention of suicide by overdose/accidental overdose, and communication and accountability.
  • Safety of prescribing habits – complexity of poly-pharmacotherapy in older adults admitted to mental health services. Communication of accurate up-to-date medicine information is essential.
  • Medicines Reconciliation document includes an indication if each medicine is to be continued, withheld or stopped with a documented reason for any variance.
  • As soon as possible after patient discharge, the discharge document is ‘sent’ to the patients GP and named community pharmacist who is responsible for providing pharmaceutical care to that individual patient.
  • Further work needs to establish whether nurses have the clinical knowledge and skills to ensure safe practice.
  • Where evidence exists, we provide guidance as to the safest drugs to prescribe in particular clinical situations.