NICE Endorsed Tool Launched to Support Patients and Doctors in Shared Decision-Making.

  • NICE endorsed anticoagulation therapy decision support tool launched

BRACKNELL, England--()--People with atrial fibrillation (AF) are set to benefit from an innovative online decision support tool launched today. The tool encourages partnership between them and their healthcare professional when reaching a decision about the use of anticoagulant medicines to reduce their risk of stroke.

“This is a great example of a university bridging the public and private sector with a project that benefits all parties by supporting evidence based prescribing. Computerised decision support tools have been shown to improve implementation of clinical guidelines.”

The interactive tool is in two parts: the first allows a healthcare professional to enter health information about a particular person into the online tool, which then provides individualised prescribing recommendations based on the NICE AF clinical guidelines1. Each recommendation is supported by a reason, important management considerations, common treatment side-effects and appropriate references.

The second part incorporates NICE’s patient decision aid, to help healthcare professionals support the person with AF weigh up the possible benefits, harms, advantages and disadvantages of different treatment options The tool allows the person to rate what is and isn't important to them in stroke prevention and come to an informed decision about their care.

The tool will be evaluated in practice as part of a NICE/Keele University research programme.

Welcoming the launch of the tool Professor Klaus Dugi, Medical Director, Boehringer Ingelheim UK and Ireland said,

“Treating patients with atrial fibrillation can be complicated for doctors and nurses. They need to weigh up multiple factors and balance out increased risk their patients have of having a stroke with the type of treatments available. This innovative tool will help simplify and manage this, by ensuring that treatment recommendations are made jointly by the doctor and patient

“We’re extremely proud to be the first pharmaceutical company to work in such close collaboration with NICE, to deliver a tool that will benefit healthcare professionals and result in more informed and appropriately treated patients.”

Professor Steven Chapman from the Centre for Medicines Optimisation at Keele University said,

“This is a great example of a university bridging the public and private sector with a project that benefits all parties by supporting evidence based prescribing. Computerised decision support tools have been shown to improve implementation of clinical guidelines.

“This tool to support prescribing for atrial fibrillation will help distill the evidence from NICE guidance and tailor it to the needs of the individual patient. Importantly it generates user friendly visual aids that the doctor and patient can share , thus increasing the patient’s understanding of the risks and benefits of treatment and in this way make it more likely that patients will stick with their treatment plan.”

Commenting on the launch Paul Chrisp, Director of the medicines and prescribing programme at NICE said,

“This tool is an innovative resource for the healthcare professionals and people with atrial fibrillation. It supports the recommendations in our guideline on this important condition, and we’re pleased to endorse it.”

Whilst not intended to replace a healthcare professional’s clinical judgement it does support clinical decision making. Most importantly it also provides a practical basis for people with atrial fibrillation to have informed discussions with their doctor or nurse about the choices they have when it comes to appropriate management of their condition to reduce their risk of having a stroke, a vital element of patient-centred care.”

The full tool is available from today and can be accessed here:


Notes to editors

The primary aims of the tool are:


  • To support and assist healthcare professionals in the implementation of NICE guidance for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation
  • To provide anticoagulation treatment recommendations for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation at risk of stroke and systemic embolism - based on the individual patient profiles created by the healthcare professional user
  • To support communication and shared decision-making with patients through the use of a patient decision aid and personalised patient materials


  • To provide a practical basis - via the patient decision aid - for patients to participate in an informed discussion with a healthcare professional about their anticoagulant treatment choices in atrial fibrillation, taking into account the options available, their individual needs and preferences and potential benefits and risks.
  • To provide patients with a personalised report of their consultation

The tool is based on the following NICE guidance:

The tool also incorporates:

The tool was developed as part of a joint working group initiative comprising the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd and Prescribing Decision Support Ltd at the Centre for Medicines Optimisation, Keele University. All three parties committed resources to the joint working project in line with ABPI Code requirements.

About Boehringer Ingelheim

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with 146 affiliates and a total of more than 47,700 employees. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

Social responsibility is an important element of the corporate culture at Boehringer Ingelheim. This includes worldwide involvement in social projects, such as the initiative “Making more Health” and caring for the employees. Respect, equal opportunities and reconciling career and family form the foundation of the mutual cooperation. In everything it does, the company focuses on environmental protection and sustainability.

In 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 13.3 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 19.9 per cent of its net sales.

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About NICE

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for driving improvement and excellence in the health and social care system. NICE develops guidance, standards and information on high-quality health and social care. NICE also advises on ways to promote healthy living and prevent ill health.

NICE’s aim is to help practitioners deliver the best possible care and give people the most effective treatments, which are based on the most up-to-date evidence and provide value for money, in order to reduce inequalities and variation.

NICE’s products and resources are produced for the NHS, local authorities, care providers, charities, and anyone who has a responsibility for commissioning or providing healthcare, public health or social care services.

To find out more about what NICE does, visit the NICE website: and follow NICE on Twitter: @NICEComms.


1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Clinical Guideline 180. Atrial Fibrillation: The management of Atrial Fibrilliation. Avaliable at: Accessed October 2015

2. Keele University Prescribing Decision Support, Centre for Medicines Optimisation anticoagulation therapy decision support tool. Available at Last accessed October 2015


Boehringer Ingelheim Limited
Nick Johnson
Corporate Affairs Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1344 746792
More information

Release Summary

NICE endorsed tool launched to support patients and doctors in shared decision-making.