Key questions addressed

  • What approaches have been used to reduce prescribing errors?
  • Have any approaches related to human factors been researched?

Medicines can do a lot of good but they also have the potential to cause harm. Medication errors are one of the most common causes of patient harm and prescribing accounts for a large proportion of medication errors. 

This evidence scan examines strategies to reduce prescribing errors and finds that most studies about reducing prescribing errors have been undertaken in hospital. The three most commonly researched approaches are, in order of frequency: computerised tools, training to improve prescribing and expanding professional roles to identify errors.

Further reading

Research report

Safer Clinical Systems: Evaluation findings

December 2014
Research report

Lessons from the second phase of the Safer Clinical Systems programme.

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