Decision-making: Learning outcomes

Last updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2022

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Outline why some clinical problems about medicines may be harder to solve. 
  • Describe strategies for managing these clinical problems safely. 
  • Discuss the steps to take if you discover you have made an error.
You can download a PDF of the whole tutorial.

You should allow 30 minutes to complete this tutorial.


This tutorial is aimed at hospital trainee pharmacists, and will help you achieve GPhC learning outcomes such as these: 

  • LO 16 Apply professional judgement in all circumstances, taking legal and ethical reasoning into account
  • LO 17 Recognise and work within the limits of their knowledge and skills, and get support and refer to others when they need to
  • LO 18 Take responsibility for all aspects of pharmacy services, and make sure that the care and services provided are safe and accurate
  • LO 20 Act openly and honestly when things go wrong and raise concerns even when it is not easy to do so
  • LO 30 Appraise the evidence base and apply clinical reasoning and professional judgement to make safe and logical decisions which minimise risk and optimise outcomes for the person

If you are a foundation pharmacist, this tutorial may help you meet many competencies from the RPS including:

  • 1.1 Applies evidence-based clinical knowledge to make suitable recommendations or take appropriate actions.
  • 1.2 Provides the multidisciplinary team with information and education, for example, on clinical, legal and governance aspects of medicines.
  • 1.6 Uses own pharmaceutical knowledge to positively impact the usage and stewardship of medicines at an individual and population level.
  • 1.7 Undertakes a holistic clinical review of a person’s medicines to ensure they are appropriate.
  • 2.1 Keeps the individual at the centre of their approach to care at all times.
  • 3.1 1 Draws upon own knowledge and up-to-date guidance to effectively make decisions appropriately and with confidence.
  • 3.2 Critically appraises appropriate information to make a decision in an efficient and systematic manner; adopts evidence-informed solutions.
  • 3.3 Demonstrates awareness of where to seek appropriate information to solve problems and make decisions.
  • 3.4 Asks the appropriate questions when engaging with other healthcare professionals to support own decision-making process.
  • 3.5 Manages uncertainty and possible risk appropriately, while ensuring high attention to detail is maintained when making decisions regarding the individual receiving care.
  • 6.5 Uses effective questioning when working with individuals receiving care or other healthcare professionals.
  • 7.2 Is accountable and responsible for own decisions and actions, understanding the potential consequences of these decisions across the whole care pathway.
  • 9.4 Effectively and efficiently manages multiple priorities; manages own time and workload calmly, demonstrating resilience.

Continuing professional development

Finally, here are some CPD activities you could consider:

★  Arrange some time to shadow your local medicines advice pharmacist. How do they advise on the best course of action when faced with little or conflicting information on a particular topic? Use MiDatabank to review some past enquiries that presented more challenging clinical decisions.
★  Find out about your Trust's incident reporting scheme and ensure that you know how to submit a report. Maybe you could review some past incidents that have involved medicines with your pharmacy risk lead.