Pharmacist Feedback, Education Reduce Prescription Errors by Junior Doctors

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Prescription writing errors were significantly reduced in the pharmacist education group, while there was an increase in the error rate in the control group.
Prescription writing errors were significantly reduced in the pharmacist education group, while there was an increase in the error rate in the control group.

HealthDay News — Pharmacist feedback and education is effective at reducing prescription writing errors by junior doctors in an inpatient setting, according to a study published online in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

Jared Gursanscky, MD, from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues randomized 4 general medical units of an Australian tertiary hospital to prescribing feedback and targeted education by a clinical pharmacist; an e-learning intervention on safe prescribing; or no intervention for 2 units.

Data on prescribing errors were collected daily via a chart audit.

The researchers found that prescription writing errors were significantly reduced in the pharmacist education group (P <.001), while there was an increase in the error rate in the control group (<.001). There was a smaller increase in the error rate among the e-learning group (P =.025).

"Regular and targeted pharmacist feedback and education is effective at reducing prescription writing errors, while the effect of e-learning tools remains unclear," the authors write.

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Reference

Gursanscky J, Young J, Griffett K, Liew D, Smallwood D. Benefit of targeted, pharmacist-led education for junior doctors in reducing prescription writing errors - a controlled trial [published online January 24, 2018]. J Pharm Pract Research. doi: 10.1002/jppr.1330

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