Ardens has created an alert when initiating a controlled drug on a patient record, to alert the user to potential risks, and to provide useful guidance and information.   


The alert is called "Add controlled drug alert (Ardens)" and is activated by default in your EMIS clinical system.


The alert links directly to the "Ardens Controlled Drug Risk Assessment" template.


This alert is one of many clinical safety protocols that are contained within the Ardens Clinical toolkit.  You can find a list of all Ardens protocols and alerts via the following link.


The alert is automatically triggered every time a Schedule 1, 2 or 3 controlled drug is initiated on a patient record, and where the drug belongs to the following drug groups:

  • Opioid Analgesics
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Zopiclone
  • Zolpidem Hemitartrate
  • Zaleplon
  • Gabapentin
  • Pregabalin


Please note that some opioid analgesics, such as Co-codamol, Codis and Codeine, are not included in the trigger for this alert.


The alert will appear immediately a controlled drug is initiated and issued to the patient record, and will display the following information:

There are links to links to MHRA, NICE and GOV.UK guidance articles, as well as advice regarding drug and drink driving and the law.


Once OK has been selected on the information display text box, the user is given the choice of launching the Ardens Controlled Drug Risk Assessment template or proceeding without adding anything further.

If the first option is selected, the Ardens 'Controlled Drug Risk Assessment' template is launched within an open consultation, and the drug issue process completes.


The Risk Assessment page of this template allows for the recording of various discussion points with the patient as part of a risk assessment, prior to starting the patient on an opioid, benzodiazepine, gabapentinoid or Z-drug item of medication.


It is also possible to record and code the completion of the risk assessment, as well as adding any further information, such as contraindications.

If the option to ‘Proceed without adding anything’ is selected, the drug issue process completes.


Complete the template using the required fields and ensure you save the information, using the Save option.


In addition to this, Ardens has created relevant searches for QOF QI – Dependency Causing Medication.  These can be found within the 5.22 Contracts – QOF – Misc folder:

These searches will assist practices with the Prescription Drug Dependency element of QOF QI.  


When running the searches, practices are able to set a timeframe of their choice to identify dependency causing medication for the first issue, with a separate search just looking for a first issue in the last 12 weeks.


Further searches are available if required.

If you require any further assistance on the process above, please contact Ardens support on: