Safer prescribing—a trial of education, informatics, and financial incentives.
Adverse drug events among outpatients are common and can lead to preventable complications. Conducted in primary care practices, this cluster-randomized trial found that a combination of professional education, electronic health record alerts, and financial incentives for practices to review potentially inappropriate prescribing decreased high-risk medication prescriptions. Investigators also observed a decrease in two of the three medication-related complications associated with use of high-risk medications, suggesting a clinical benefit to this intervention. The success of this study argues for similar larger-scale, multi-modal patient safety studies to detect modest but significant improvements.