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Physicians’ prescribing patterns can be changed within 30 min of education


Objectives The aim of the study was to develop and test an education method to increase the adherence of the hospital drug formulary.

Methods The study was designed as an intervention study. The intervention comprised an Academic Detailing education method, developed and implemented by the Clinical Pharmacy Unit, University Hospital of Odense (OUH), Denmark. The education method, presented by two clinical pharmacists, was piloted at OUH.

Results A total of 951 prescriptions were reviewed during the study period, 332 at baseline, 297 1 week after the intervention and 322 6 weeks after the intervention. At baseline 74% of the prescriptions were prescribed according to the formulary list and 23% were not. One week and 6 weeks after the intervention, 85% and 76% of the prescriptions followed the formulary list, respectively; 11% and 19% respectively did not. The increase in prescriptions given according to the formulary from baseline to 1 week after the intervention (11%) was statistically significant (p<0.0001), while the increase from baseline to 6 weeks after the intervention (2%) was not (p<0.463).

Conclusions The Academic Detailing education method had the expected effect on the physicians’ prescribing patterns, which makes it an effective tool for changing physician's prescribing patterns. The method was easy to implement and not time consuming. The effect did not last as long as 6 weeks. This was expected and supported by the literature. To make the intervention last there is a need for some follow up, eventually electronic reminders.


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