This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pul jul aug2020 cover 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

Independents' Day

Report this comment to a moderator

Please fill in the form below if you think a comment is unsuitable. Your comments will be sent to our moderator for review.

Report comment to moderator

Required fields.


DH to launch crackdown on prescribing errors


To me, 'removing medication errors' starts with having a decent system, with minimal copying (=minimal transcription errors). We need a national medication database for each patient, from which everyone works, whether in hospital, primary care, private medicine, community, OPD, wards... so there is an immediate understanding of what the patient is taking. (A single database doesn't mean a single software program to run it, BTW). Then we need a total absence of silly rules ('you can't put CDs on repeat dispensing' -- which I suspect was why Repeat dispensing never took off that well at the beginning). Then we need prescriptions which are written to cover clinical needs, not financial ones. All that faffing around to repeat prescriptions every month for longterm medication such as levothyroxine is simple wasting time and increasing the possibility of transcription and transmission errors (electronic and physical). Finally, we need time to make the decisions: and it's got to be unhurried and not pressurised. Tired, overwhelmed staff will make mistakes: it's not their fault as much as the system which creates that tiredness and that sense of being overwhelmed. ... and ONLY at that point should anyone start to investigate the competencies of the prescribers themselves (though will all the above in place, I suspect that the level of mistakes would already have dropped precipitously.)

Posted date

06 Sep 2017

Posted time