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Table 3 Top twelve solutions for medication safety in primary care

From: Identification of priorities for improvement of medication safety in primary care: a PRIORITIZE study

RANK Proposed solution for medication safety problems in primary care Total priority score Breakdown point Type of solution
1 Develop standardized template for discharge summaries (e.g. with clear indications of changes from admission to discharge and with rationale) 97.4 Prescribing Task design
2 Reduce unnecessary medication/antibiotic prescribing 96.4 Prescribing Task design
3 Minimize polypharmacy 94.3 Administering Task design
4 Take patient’s co-morbidities more carefully into consideration when prescribing medications 93.8 Prescribing Individual staff
5 To give clear guidelines to patients as to how frequently they need medication reviews 92.7 Communication with patient/carers Patient
6 Computer system to automatically inform the patient and the GP when blood tests are overdue 92.7 Monitoring Task design
7 Increase the use of e-discharge letters 91.7 Prescribing Task design
8 Improve patient information leaflets 91.1 Communication with patient/carers Patient
9 Unified medication and investigations records that have listings of allergies and current medications of patients across primary and secondary care. This will allow GPs to see who changed, why, when and what medication or a result of a test ordered in secondary care 90.6 Transfer of care Task design
10 The development of shared care protocols 90.1 Transfer of care Task design
11 Pharmacies should offer a check-and-collect service in addition to dispensing to only supply what’s needed. Explanation: Patients often have cupboards full of old medications 90.1 Dispensing Task design
12 To write indications next to each prescribed medication 90.1 Prescribing Task design
  1. (Clinicians scored solutions using the following criteria: feasibility and cost-effectiveness (Table 1). The scoring options were 1 for “yes (e.g. this solution is feasible)”, 0 for “no (e.g. this solution is unfeasible)”, 0.5 for “unsure (e.g. I am unsure if this solution is feasible)” and blank for “unaware (e.g. I do not know if this solution is feasible)”. Total Priority score is the mean of the scores for each of the three criteria and ranges from 0 to 100. Higher ranked solutions received more “Yes” responses for each of the criteria and a higher score)