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GPs need software tools designed to help safeguard prescribing

When I went to medical school it was considered bad practice to prescribe more then three long-term medications to the average patient (say 50-plus). Nowadays it is the other way round. But with every additional drug we prescribe the chance of any AR or interaction rises exponentially.

Despite huge changes in computerised prescribing we still cannot rely on the computer warning us sufficiently about undesirable effects. Not even the BNF is

very helpful.

How embarrassing when patients tell you about side-effects as printed on the medication leaflets that are hard for us to get.

I think it is about time, with the expected increase in drug use, to help GPs ­ and any other prescriber ­ by designing easy usable software tools to safeguard prescribing.

We should not be expected ­ and should not expect ourselves ­ to have such sufficient pharmacological knowledge that safe prescribing is possible without such tools.

Dr Lutz Umnus



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