THE EFFECT OF A PRESCRIBER TRAINING INTERVENTION ON THE PREVALENCE OF PRESCRIBING ERRORS FOUND IN A ELECTRONIC PRESCRIBING SYSTEM

 

European Statement: 

  • Education and Research

Author(s): 

Fionnuala Nevin
Gail Melanophy
Aisling Collins
Miriam Moriarty
Grainne Courtney
Tamasine Grimes
Gaye Stephens

What was done?: 

A study was carried out to investigate the effect of a training intervention on the prevalence of prescribing errors found in an outpatient electronic prescribing system currently in use. Audit and feedback methods were used. Prescription audits were carried out before and after the delivery of a classroom-based training intervention. The audits were used to measure and analyse the effect of the intervention on prescribing errors found in the electronic prescribing system. A questionnaire and clinician observations were carried out with prescribers. The pre-intervention audit results, questionnaire, and clinician observations were used to inform the prescriber training intervention.

Why was it done?: 

The available literature strongly advocates the importance of training for users of electronic prescribing systems to ensure their safe and effective use. However, there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate the effect that ongoing training has on the use and impact of these systems. This study was carried out to strengthen the case for staff training resources for electronic prescribing systems.

How was it done?: 

Key stakeholders were recruited and assisted in the planning and delivery of the study methods. This was to ensure participate buy-in and study success. The audit tools and questionnaire were initially piloted to test their design, and allow adjustments to be made based on feedback received.

What has been achieved?: 

The prevalence of prescribing errors was significantly reduced, following the delivery of the training intervention. Statistically significantly more medications prescribed during the pre-intervention audit contained one or more errors when compared with the post-intervention audit (28.6% versus 9.2%, p < 0.05). Most errors found were deemed to be system-related errors.

What next?: 

The study demonstrates the positive impact that ongoing training can have on users’ interactions with an electronic prescribing system. Electronic prescribing systems are being increasingly considered and implemented in healthcare settings internationally. The results of this study could be used to inform the planning for training interventions to be delivered as part of ongoing system maintenance. The study stands to inform those managing electronic prescribing projects that, despite initial training, errors can still occur and must be addressed. This study supports the need to provide adequate training resources for users of electronic prescribing systems.

Keywords: 

  • Education and researchTraining
  • ITElectronic prescribing system
  • Patient safetyErrors

Pdf: