Safety and Quality: Prescribing
Frequently Asked Questions
If I have identified a problem, know what current practice is, and plan to address the problem, is it essential to analyse prescribing data to support the need for change?
No, you need to demonstrate that you are aware of a prescribing issue and address it. For instance, if a new guideline is issued suggesting that the management of condition X should change, there is little point analysing past prescribing to demonstrate that you did not comply with the new guidance. You do need to demonstrate that you have considered how the new guidance should be implemented, and plan to do so. However, if you look at a prescribing error, it might be worth assessing the current practice to determine how significant a problem you have uncovered. This could help you to plan change.
As a sessional or out-of-hours doctor, how many prescriptions do I need to collect to demonstrate my current prescribing habits?
There is no definite answer to this question. Enough for you to be clear about any trends. Naturally this will depend upon how commonly the group of drugs you are interested in are prescribed.
If I am basing my review on an audit, does it need to be an audit that I have done?
No, provided it gives you an indication that you need to consider prescribing in this area. A regional or even national audit may do this; alternatively an audit by a member of your team could be the stimulus. You need to be clear what current practice is, and consider the need for change.
Can I submit one piece of evidence in two categories?
Yes, an audit or significant event analysis can provide evidence in more than one category. Consider carefully the requirements for each category.
Where can I find help?
We have included examples of prescribing reviews (as well as other Quality Improvement Activities examples) in the QIA examples section of the website. This should give you ideas on what supporting information you can provide for your appraisal.
This page was last updated on: 15/05/2015
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