Patient safety is vital to well-functioning health systems. A key component is safe prescribing, particularly in primary care where most medications are prescribed. Previous research has demonstrated that the number of patients exposed to potentially hazardous prescribing can be reduced by interrogating the electronic health record (EHR) database of general practices and providing feedback to general practitioners (GPs) in a pharmacist-led intervention. This study aimed to develop and roll out an online dashboard application that delivers this audit and feedback intervention in a continuous fashion.
Based on initial system requirements, Williams et al. designed the dashboard’s user interface over three iterations with six GPs, seven pharmacists and a member of the public. Prescribing safety indicators from previous work were implemented in the dashboard. Pharmacists were trained to use the intervention and deliver it to general practices.
A web-based electronic dashboard was developed and linked to shared care records in Salford, UK. The completed dashboard was deployed in all but one (general practices in the region. By November 2017, 36 pharmacists had been trained in delivering the intervention to practices. There were 135 registered users of the dashboard, with an average of 91 user sessions a week.
The authors have developed and successfully rolled out of a complex, pharmacist-led dashboard intervention in Salford, UK. System usage statistics indicate broad and sustained uptake of the intervention. The use of systems that provide regularly updated audit information may be an important contributor towards medication safety in primary care.