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Support for paediatric prescribers: what is discussed at hospital board level?


Prescribing support tools range from traditional printed texts to state-of-the-art computerised decision support systems. Comparison between available literature is difficult due to country-specific resources often being the focus of the research. In the UK, it is widely accepted that hospitals take their own individualised approaches to reducing prescribing errors.

Objective This study focused on specialist paediatric hospitals. It aimed to identify the localised approaches taken by paediatric hospitals to reduce prescribing errors.

Method Applied thematic analysis was used to explore the publically published board meeting minutes from the four specialist stand-alone paediatric hospitals in England. Three years of data was collected from each hospital. Codes were collected into groups to identify themes from the data.

Results The main themes identified were clinician involvement in prescribing support is important; credit card-sized reminder tools are used to provide prescribing guidance; electronic prescribing is considered important for reducing prescribing errors; feedback from clinical pharmacists on prescribing errors is widely used; junior doctors require extra support when prescribing; medical records may be incomplete and specific prescribing support (eg, antibiotic prescribing support) is widely in use.

Conclusions There is no single collaborative approach taken to paediatric prescribing support in English paediatric hospitals. Success of electronic prescribing in English paediatric hospitals is considerably behind leaders such as the USA. Use of clinical pharmacists to support prescribers is important as supported by previous studies in Spain and the USA.

  • Clinical decision support systems

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