UKMi Standard Operating Procedures and Risk Management

Laura Kearney, Regional Principal Medicines Information Pharmacist, Midlands and East Medicines Advice Service (Midlands site) & UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory ServicePublished

UKMi Quality and Risk Management Group


In order to ensure the safe and efficient running of Medicines Information services, it is essential that appropriate procedures and policies are in place to cover all areas of practice.

Recommendations about documents that MI Centres should consider having as part of their overall approach to departmental risk assessment have been made. The documents that are needed, and the format in which they are produced, will vary according to the nature of the service; some of these may be Standard Operating Procedures whereas others may be Good Practice Guidelines or User Guides.

The following definitions may be useful when considering the type of document that may be required:

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
A document agreed by an organisation which specifies in writing how to perform a task, including what should be done, when, where and by whom, in order to improve consistency, support risk management and provide direction for staff. SOPs should be signed and dated by the author and approver. A template SOP document is provided below.

User Guides
A document which describes the detailed steps to be taken in order to effectively use a certain application or resource; this could be a book, database, or website. User Guides can also be used as a training manuals.

Good Practice Guidelines
A descriptive document which provides recommendations or guidance on specific areas of practice to ensure consistency and attainment of standards.

As part of the UKMi Audit standards, it is required that a risk assessment of the Service is undertaken on an annual basis. This can be done using the UKMi Risk Management Policy, or an appropriate local version.

This section also includes an SOP: MiDatabank® enquiry sharing—identification of suitable enquiries, which gives guidance on the identification of suitable enquiries to consider sharing via the national internet based MiSharer programme.