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Safer prescribing—a trial of education, informatics, and financial incentives.

Dreischulte T, Donnan P, Grant A, et al. Safer Prescribing--A Trial of Education, Informatics, and Financial Incentives. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(11):1053-64. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1508955.

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March 30, 2016
Dreischulte T, Donnan P, Grant A, et al. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(11):1053-64.

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.