Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

In-house pharmacists can help GPs reduce prescribing errors by up to 50 percent

21.02.2012
Medication errors are common in primary care but the number of mistakes could be reduced significantly if GPs introduced an in-house pharmacist-led intervention scheme.

These are the findings of a comprehensive study into sustainable ways of preventing patients from being harmed as a result of prescribing errors.

The research was led by Tony Avery, Professor of Primary Health Care in the School of Community Health Sciences at The University of Nottingham and funded by the Patient Safety Research Program of the UK Department of Health. The results are published on Tuesday 21 February 2012 in the Lancet - one of the world's leading medical journals.

The study involved at-risk patients in 72 general practices taking the drugs that are most commonly and consistently associated with medication errors.

The general practices were randomly allocated to receive either computerised feedback on patients at risk, or computerised feedback with support from a pharmacist to correct any errors detected. When followed up six months later the general practices receiving pharmacist support had significantly fewer prescribing errors.

Professor Avery, who is also a practicing GP in Nottingham, has called on the Department of Health and GP clinical commissioning groups to develop a wider roll-out of the intervention scheme. He said: "Our study has shown remarkable reductions in prescribing errors from an approach that could easily be rolled out to general practices in England and the rest of the UK. Most general practices already have in-house pharmacists, but much of their time is spent controlling prescribing costs. What is needed is a commitment for these pharmacists to spend more of their time on patient safety. Not only would this help prevent unnecessary harm to patients, but it may also reduce the costs associated with dealing with prescribing errors, which sometimes require hospital admission".

How the study was set up

Dr Avery and his team, which involved the University of Manchester, the University of Reading, the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the University of Edinburgh, studied GP practices in Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Central and Eastern Cheshire, England.

Practices allocated to the simple feedback system received computerised feedback on patients at risk from medication errors and the practices were given brief written information on the importance of each type of error.

GPs allocated to pharmacist-intervention met with a pharmacist at the beginning of intervention period to discuss the problems identified from the computerised feedback and to agree on an action plan. The pharmacist then spent roughly two days a week for the next 12 weeks dealing with the problems and working to improve safety systems. In some cases, patients were invited into the surgery for a prescription review with the pharmacist, or a GP, or to have a blood test, with the aim of correcting medication errors.

The results of the study

Their results showed that GPs were almost 50 per cent less likely to make errors in the monitoring of older people taking ACE inhibitors or diuretics, 42 per cent less likely to make errors in prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to patients with a history of peptic ulcer (including stomach ulcer), and 27 per cent less likely to make errors in prescribing beta-blockers to patients with asthma.

Professor Avery said: "We know that GPs are aware of the risks of the drugs most commonly associated with adverse events, but errors do occur and our study has shown an effective way of dealing with them. We believe that there is an urgent need to roll out this pharmacist-led intervention to general practices throughout the country to avoid unnecessary errors in the future."

Lindsay Brooke | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New materials: Growing polymer pelts

19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize

19.11.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>