A new computer tool to help reduce the risk of commonly made drug prescribing errors has been launched by a primary care research team and the PRIMIS business unit at The University of Nottingham.
The PINCER Query Library Tool has been developed after a clinical trial showed that an innovative pharmacist-led computer-based prescription checking and GP feedback system led to significantly fewer prescribing errors than traditional computerised feedback alone.
The PRIMIS unit within the Division of Primary Care specialises in health informatics and training and has been working with the PINCER trial research team to develop the tool based on the results of the trial.
The PINCER 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.
The new PINCER tool is an extension of the PRIMIS CHART Query Library and is now available free to all GP practices in England. CHART helps GPs improve patient care by analysing the data held on their clinical computer systems. GP practices access the library through membership of the PRIMIS Hub scheme.
Professor of Primary Health Care, Tony Avery, in the University’s School of Community Health Sciences, said:
“The PINCER Query Library makes it easy to avoid some of the common medication errors and this is a topic that will attract increasing national audit interest over the next couple of years. By subscribing to this tool, GP practices will demonstrate their commitment to the safety of patients, as well as helping GPs themselves in their audit requirements for revalidation.”
All practices wishing to make use of the PINCER Query Library should register for Basic membership of the PRIMIS Hub online community. Basic membership is completely free and easy to set up. More details on how to join can be found here: www.primis.nottingham.ac.uk/pincer-query-library-released
For more background on the PINCER Trial please see:
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Notes to editors: PRIMIS is a business unit of the Division of Primary Care at The University of Nottingham and was founded in 2000: www.primis.nottingham.ac.uk
PRIMIS specialises in primary care health informatics and training. PRIMIS provides expert services in data extraction, analytics and presentation plus training and consultancy for the sector.
The work undertaken by PRIMIS is of considerable importance in helping to ensure that clinical records in primary care are of the highest standard so that healthcare can be practised safely and effectively.
The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’ is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.
The PINCER (pharmacist-led IT-based intervention compared with simple feedback in reducing rates of clinically important medication errors) Trial, led by Professor Tony Avery at The University of Nottingham, was developed as a robust cluster randomised controlled trial to test whether a large complex pharmacist-led IT-based intervention compared with simple feedback could reduce medication error rates within the primary care setting. The study involved at-risk patients in 72 general practices who were being prescribed drugs that are commonly and consistently associated with medication errors. The results of the trial, published in the Lancet (February 2012), showed that the PINCER intervention is an effective method for reducing a range of clinically important and commonly made medication errors in primary care.At six months’ follow-up, the general practices receiving computerised feedback and pharmacist support had significantly fewer prescribing errors than the general practices that received computerised feedback alone.
CHART (Care and Health Analysis in Real Time) is a software tool designed by GPs for GPs that works in conjunction with CHART Online. CHART helps GPs improve patient care by analysing the data held on their clinical computer systems. It is available for free to all members of the PRIMIS Hub membership scheme. The CHART query libraries available will depend on your level of membership: Basic (free) or Full (subscription-based).