Friday, 4 May 2012
Smarter software to make GP prescribing safer
A call from the General Medical Council (GMC) for smarter
software to help GPs reduce prescribing errors has
highlighted EMIS's position as an industry leader in
decision support technology.
Many of the issues highlighted in the
GMC-commissioned study are already covered by the EMIS
Web integrated care system - including sophisticated
prescribing alerts that don't overload the GP and direct
electronic links with pharmacists, closing the prescribing
GMC chair Professor Peter Rubin said GPs needed to invest
in better technology following a GMC-commissioned study
that revealed mistakes or omissions in one in 20
prescriptions. The GMC also called for GPs and pharmacists
to work together more closely to reduce the risk of errors.
Dr Shaun O'Hanlon, clinical and development director at
EMIS said: "This important study has revealed just how
complex prescribing decisions are, and as a former GP, I
know that there are times when we need to balance one risk
against another - this is often not evident when reviewing
the prescription in isolation.
"However, the good news is that the smart software called
for by the GMC is already being implemented - an increasing
number of GPs and pharmacists using EMIS Web, our
integrated record system, have the very latest tools to
make prescribing safer.
Avoid 'alert fatigue'
"EMIS Web includes advanced decision support for
prescribing, which flags up key drug safety alerts that
make GPs stop and think, and even justify their decision,
circumventing 'alert fatigue'.
"It also allows GPs to monitor and manage patients on drugs
with a low therapeutic index such as Warfarin more safely.
Our medication management tool informs GPs when the patient
they are seeing or prescribing for is overdue for an INR
check - the commonest serious issue mentioned in the
report. Integration in EMIS Web of SMS alerting to the
patient when monitoring is overdue is another way of
improving safety - and involving patients in their own
Linking GPs and pharmacists
He added: "Close links between GPs and local community
pharmacists are of course vital to improve prescribing, and
the Medicines Manager tool, developed jointly by EMIS and
Rx Systems, allows them to communicate with each other
electronically about patients' repeat medication and
exchange information directly.
"GPs and community pharmacies are already collaborating
when making complex prescribing decisions and are realising
the benefits in terms of patient safety, compliance and
Media enquiries: Contact Libby Howard or Ruth Devlin, Judge
tel: 0161 212 1611, email . Out-of-hours enquiries to
Libby Howard on 07879 446277.