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0. Foreword Martin Hindle 2Many of us will have seen these disturbing headlines in the media today (23 February 2018). A study published today by researchers from Manchester, Sheffield and York Universities estimates that up to 1 in 5 prescriptions ends in the wrong drug being given to a patient, that’s equivalent to 237million errors a year. This is shocking but there is hope, The AHSN network and EMAHSN have been working on innovations that help reduce the number of errors being made in the prescribing and dispensing processes.

Here are some great examples:

PINCER: PINCER is a pharmacist-led information technology intervention for reducing clinically important errors in general practice prescribing. Initial implementation of PINCER across 361 GP practices in the East Midlands reduced prescribing error rates by up to 50%.

OptiMed: Unit Dose Closed Loop Medicines Solutions use robotic technology, logistics software and bar coding to produce and deliver individual doses of medication. This enables complete control of medicine prescribing, supply and administration - reducing medication errors, cutting waste and delivering big savings.

Transfer of Care Around Medicines: The continuity of patient care when transitioning from one healthcare setting to another is a national priority, with studies indicating that changes to patients’ medication are often not transferred between hospital and community settings leading to medication errors. The electronic transfer of care initiative was trialled in 30 sites, with a published evaluation from two of these finding significantly lower rates of readmissions and shorter hospital stays.

EPIFFANY (Effective Performance Insight for the Future): is an innovative approach to training healthcare professionals such as junior doctors, proven to support big improvements in performance of complex tasks such as prescribing. It adopts principles used by Team Sky to win the Tour De France four out of the past five years – for example making small changes to the way individuals are educated, by giving and receiving constructive feedback and embedding team working. EPIFFANY has a significant impact on the prescribing performance of doctors reducing errors and improving their confidence.

For any queries and to discuss more in detail about our projects improving patient safety contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. @mike_hannay