The NHS dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d)

dm+d is a dictionary containing unique identifiers (codes) and associated textual descriptions for representing medicines and medical devices in information systems and electronic communications.

Picture illustrating drugs and devices dm+d has been developed and delivered through a partnership between NHS Connecting for Health and the NHS Business Services Authority. It has been developed for use throughout the NHS as a means of uniquely identifying medicines and medical devices used in the health care of patients. It provides consistency in how medicines and medical devices are expressed through a robust published Editorial Policy.

dm+d - the NHS Medicines Standard

The Information Standards Board for Health and Social Care (ISB HaSC) has approved the NHS dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d) as the NHS Standard for communicating medicines information. The purpose of the Standard is to ensure that diverse clinical systems can effectively 'talk' to one another by using a common coded language for the transfer of medicines information between such systems.

Dr Charles Gutteridge, National Clinical Director for Informatics at the Department of Health and Medical Director, Barts and the London NHS Trust said:

"The adoption of dm+d is an important milestone. It will mean clearer and consistent communication throughout the NHS ensuring health professionals in all care settings can deliver a more integrated and safer healthcare system."
"I encourage all clinicians to accelerate their use of this common medical dictionary for the benefit of the patients we care for."

Heidi Wright, English Practice and Policy Lead, Royal Pharmaceutical Society said:

"The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) supports the need for a single terminology to facilitate interoperability and to enable such initiatives as Electronic prescription service (EPS). We believe that the opportunities created for using dm+d are substantial in terms of interoperability, opportunities for comparison and reducing variation, enhancing patient safety i.e. reducing risks associated with system interfaces and providing links to clinical systems such as the British National Formulary (BNF)."

Find out more information about dm+d as a NHS standard.

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