Pharmacist Education Initiative May Reduce Prescription Errors

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Prescription writing errors in the pharmacist education group were significantly reduced.
Prescription writing errors in the pharmacist education group were significantly reduced.

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 (P <.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.

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 Prac Res. doi:10.1002/jppr.1330

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