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RX-Info Define

The annual NHS drugs bill now exceeds £16 billion, and is growing at a rate of 15 per cent a year. Rx-info’s Define software is the pre-eminent tool in helping hospitals analyse their medicines expenditure.
Define supplies hospitals with up-to-date high-quality information, helping to identify best practice and supporting a wide range of NHS initiatives.

It is used in 100 per cent of acute NHS hospitals as well as Community and Mental Health Trusts throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to enable them to accurately measure their medicines usage, clinically and financially, in comparison to a peer group of hospitals.

This sets a benchmark in terms of the cost and quantity of medicines used, and can help identify significant savings as well as improve the quality of prescribing practice. It helped one Trust save more than £110,000 per year by identifying an opportunity to change a prescribing practice.

Indeed, Define has been supporting the Carter Review Model Hospital Programme since 2014, as well as Public Health England’s antimicrobial resistance initiatives.

Define can also:

  • Chart progress towards antimicrobial CQINN compliance
  • Collate drug usage through different supply routes
  • Identify VAT-efficient routes
  • Identify CQINN opportunities, NHS guidance compliance, medicines safety and savings opportunities
  • Support national safety agendas such as antimicrobial stewardship and the Antibiotic Guardian programme.

The Define software package is compatible with all pharmacy systems including JAC and EMIS/Ascribe and provides intelligence in medicines usage in Secondary Care in a similar way to the ePACT system used in Primary Care. Define runs within the NHS’s secure N3 network.
Each Trust’s Define licence allows an unlimited number of users within that Trust, to help maximise the clinical and financial benefits for our customers.
As standard, we provide exceptional customer support for all our customers.


Case Study

Tailored Reporting for Mental Health Trusts Enhance Efficiencies at Essex Hospital

For Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) the unique practices of mental health trusts meant that monitoring drug usage was traditionally extremely time-consuming and complex. Since implementing RX-info’s Define and Refine solutions in 2011 the EPUT has been able to standardise reporting to closely monitor drug usage.

“RX-info has worked in partnership with mental health trusts to create custom reports. We have not been shoehorned into a standard trust model, but differences in mental health have been catered for within the solution,” said Hilary Scott, Chief Pharmacist & Accountable Officer for Controlled Drugs.

EPUT provide community health, mental health and learning disability services across 200 sites in Bedfordshire, Essex and Suffolk. The nature of mental health trusts means they obtain drugs from various suppliers, so historically had to merge together 10 different data feeds.

“We used to have multiple spreadsheets, which did not have standardised descriptions. To identify the usage of one drug, you had to search through the data to identify the variations. This created a huge exercise to pull together the data, so it could be used in a meaningful way,” explained Hilary.

“The RX-info solutions have transformed how data is viewed and used. We use three products, Refine, Define and ADIoS, which have enabled standardisation and created a simple view of the data, pulling it all together in a one-screen view.”

Define is a comparison tool, so medicine data can be benchmarked against similar trusts. Refine monitors drugs usage internally within the trust, and ADIoS monitors abusable drugs to identify anomalies.

Hilary is particularly happy with the easy-access of RX-info solutions, which can all be viewed from a single screen: “RX-info offers a one stop shop for drug data and the tool is very user friendly and intuitive. I normally start with Define to identify how EPUT compares to other mental health trusts; then use Refine to drill down into internal data to find out more detail,”

“We use the data to produce a number of quality commission reports for the Trust’s board and feed into the medicines annual report. Refine and Define has helped to standardise our reporting, as we have a number of templates ensuring the process is more efficient,”

“Having insight to the data helps us to control drug usage, looking at trends around expenditure and how we compare as a Trust. We would like to use it more and are looking to recruit a prescribing analyst role, so we can utilise more of the knowledge provided by the data.”

Being a customer since 2011, Hilary has seen the RX-info solution develop over time: “The solution has become more automated, reducing the manual work involved and has continued to support EPUT in an effective way. The RX-info team is incredibly helpful and accommodating to our needs,” added Hilary.

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