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PCN Practice support 02

Optimising Patient Care: The Power of Structured Medication Reviews

In today’s fast-paced healthcare landscape, ensuring patients receive the most effective and safe medications is crucial. Structured Medication Reviews (SMRs) offer a powerful tool to achieve this goal.

What are SMRs?

SMRs are in-depth examinations of a patient’s medications, conducted by a qualified healthcare professional, often a pharmacist. They go beyond simply refilling prescriptions. During an SMR, the clinical pharmacist will:

  • Review all medications: This includes prescribed, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements.
  • Assess medication effectiveness: Are the medications achieving their intended purpose?
  • Identify potential problems: This could include drug interactions, duplication of therapies, or adverse effects.
  • Develop a personalized plan: This plan may involve medication adjustments, dose modifications, or discontinuing unnecessary medications.

The advantages of implementing SMRs are numerous:

  • Improved patient outcomes: By optimising medication regimens, SMRs can lead to better disease control, reduced hospital admissions, and improved quality of life for patients.
  • Reduced medication-related problems: SMRs can help identify and address potential issues before they escalate into bigger problems.
  • Enhanced communication: SMRs foster open communication between patients and healthcare providers, leading to a more collaborative approach to care.
  • Cost-effectiveness: By minimising medication waste and preventing avoidable hospital admissions, SMRs can contribute to significant cost savings for healthcare systems.

Implementing SMRs in Your Practice

SMRs are an excellent addition to any primary care setting. Here are some tips for successful implementation:

  • Identify patients who can benefit most: Focus on patients with complex medication regimens, polypharmacy (taking multiple medications), or chronic conditions.
  • Train your healthcare team: Ensure your staff understands the SMR process and its benefits.
  • Partner with pharmacists: Pharmacists play a vital role in SMRs due to their expertise in medication management.

Structured Medication Reviews are a valuable tool for optimizing patient care and ensuring medication safety. By incorporating SMRs into your practice, you can empower your team, improve patient outcomes, and contribute to a more cost-effective healthcare system.


Our Pharmacists are not limited to medication management only. We understand that every GP Practice has different needs at times. Whether it be assistance with protocols, quality improvement work or additional work for CQC inspections – we can help, contact us for more information.