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Researchers from the University of Nottingham have developed an IT-based pharmacist-led intervention (PINCER) which has been shown to be effective in reducing prescribing errors in general practices (Lancet publication 2012).

The intervention has now been supported by the National Institute for Health Care Excellent in its ‘Medicines Optimisation Clinical Guideline’ published 04/03/15 and available on the NICE website

The SPCR funded PINCER trial was specifically mentioned on page 35:

‘Organisations and health professionals should consider applying the principles of the PINCER intervention to reduce the number of medicines-related patient safety incidents, taking account of existing systems and resource implications. These principles include:

  • using information technology support
  • using educational outreach with regular reinforcement of educational messages
  • actively involving a multidisciplinary team, including GPs, nurses and support staff
  • having dedicated pharmacist support
  • agreeing an action plan with clear objectives
  • providing regular feedback on progress
  • providing clear, concise, evidence-based information.
It's great to see that the intervention we have developed is supported by NICE. We are about to embark on a large-scale rollout of PINCER in up to 526 general practices across the East Midlands (supported by a £500,000 grant from the Health Foundation, with additional support from the East Midlands Academic Health Science Centre). Endorsement from NICE will really help to encourage general practices and clinical commissioning groups to take part in this initiative."
- Professor Tony Avery, Chief Investigator for the PINCER trial.