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QOF data clinical targets 2  Neil O Connor

Chasing QOF targets could lead to riskier prescribing, study finds

Practices with a high QOF achievement in certain indicators were more likely to have patients admitted to hospital with an adverse drug reaction, potentially due to targets 'tip[ping] relatively high-risk prescribing decisions in favour of prescribing’, a recent study has found.

The researchers from Imperial College said that that higher hospital admissions for adverse drug reactions (ADRs) were ‘associated with various primary care factors, including achievement of particular QOF indicators’.

Published in the BMJ Open, the study concluded that ‘further investigation would help to demonstrate if particular subgroups are at risk in pursuit of particular QOF targets’.

Researchers also found that a greater number of GPs, higher deprivation score and a higher proportion of GPs with UK qualifications contributed to increased hospital admissions for ADRs. 

The study looked at hospital

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