Medication errors, particularly those relating to prescribing or insufficient medication monitoring, are often associated with considerable risk of patient harm, including hospital admissions. The PINCER trial was developed as a robust randomised controlled study to test whether a pharmacist-led IT-based intervention compared with simple feedback could reduce medication error rates within the primary-care setting.
The results of the trial show that the PINCER intervention is an effective method for reducing a range of clinically important and commonly made medication errors in primary care. At six months’ follow-up, the general practices receiving computerised feedback and pharmacist support had significantly fewer prescribing errors than those that received computerised feedback alone.
Since the publication of the trial in The Lancet, there has been considerable interest in rolling out the PINCER intervention across GP practices in England. As Senior Research Fellow Dr Sarah Rodgers explains, “Over the last 2 years we have obtained over £200,000 of external research funding, mostly from NIHR School for Primary Care Research, to refine aspects of the PINCER intervention to increase the feasibility of large-scale rollout. During this time we have identified a need to evaluate whether the PINCER intervention can improve clinical outcomes. In order to explore this further, we have been successful in securing additional funding from NIHR Greater Manchester Primary Care Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (GMPCPSTRC). The funding will be used to cover the costs of working with the software company TCR (involved in the PINCER trial) to develop methods for primary and secondary care data extraction and linkage to investigate the incidence of hospital admissions associated with serious medication-related adverse events.”
The proposed work will form part of the Medication Safety Theme of the NIHR GMPSTRC and will put the research team in a strong position to submit a robust application for an NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research in March 2015.
Colleagues involved in this bid
University of Nottingham
- Dr Sarah Rodgers, Senior Research Fellow
- Professor Tony Avery, Director of Research, School of Medicine
- Dr Brian Bell, Research Fellow
- Dr Ndeshi Salema, Senior Research Fellow
- Glen Swanwick, Public and Patient Representative
- Antony Chuter, Public and Patient Representative to the project
University of Manchester
- Professor Darren Ashcroft, Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology
- Dr Denham Phipps, Research Fellow