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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

A pharmacist-led information technology intervention for medication errors (PINCER): a multicentre, cluster randomised, controlled trial and cost-effectiveness analysis.

Avery AJ, Rodgers S, Cantrill JA, et al. Lancet (London, England). 2012;379:1310-9.

Pharmacists continue to play a critical role in reducing medication errors. Past studies have focused on their impact in emergency departments and hospital settings, as well as their impact on the discharge process and specialized services. This study implemented a pharmacist-led information technology intervention (PINCER) composed of feedback and educational outreach to a randomized subset of 72 primary care practices in the United Kingdom. At 6 months following the intervention, patients in the PINCER group experienced substantially reduced frequency of clinically important prescription (e.g., beta blocker in a patient with asthma) and medication monitoring errors (e.g., ACE inhibitor in an elderly patient without assessing electrolytes). The authors suggest that their intervention can be of increasing value to other health systems that are moving towards computerized electronic health records. A past AHRQ WebM&M perspective discussed preparing pharmacists for the future in patient safety.