Cooper, SM and Fitzpatrick, RW (2021) Implementation and evaluation of a good prescribing tip email to reduce junior doctors' prescribing errors. Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management, 26 (5). 214 - 220. ISSN 2516-0435

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Background Prescribing errors are common, occurring in 7% of in-patient medication orders in UK hospitals. Foundation Year 1 (F1) doctors have reported a lack of feedback on prescribing as a cause of errors. Aim To evaluate the effect of implementing a shared learning intervention to Foundation Year 1 doctors on their prescribing errors. Methods A shared learning intervention, 'good prescribing tip' emails, were designed and sent fortnightly to F1s to share feedback about common/serious prescribing errors occurring in the hospital. Ward pharmacists identified prescribing errors in newly prescribed in-patient and discharge medication orders for 2 weeks pre- and post-intervention during Winter/Spring 2017. The prevalence of prescribing errors was compared pre- and post-intervention using statistical analysis. Results Overall, there was a statistically significant reduction (p < 0.05) in the prescribing error rate between pre-intervention (441 errors in 6190 prescriptions, 7.1%) and post-intervention (245 errors in 4866 prescriptions, 5.0%). When data were analysed by ward type there was a statistically significant reduction in the prescribing error rate on medical wards (6.8% to 4.5%) and on surgical wards (8.4% to 6.2%). Conclusions It is possible to design and implement a shared learning intervention, the 'good prescribing tip' email. Findings suggest that this intervention contributed to a reduction in the prevalence of prescribing errors across all wards, thereby improving patient safety.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Medication and drug error; drug prescribing
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology > Physical medicine. Physical therapy. Including massage, exercise, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, phototherapy, radiotherapy, thermotherapy, electrotherapy
R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2021 15:04
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2021 15:02

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