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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Professional, structural and organisational interventions in primary care for reducing medication errors

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (91st percentile)

Mentioned by

news
1 news outlet
twitter
111 tweeters
facebook
5 Facebook pages

Citations

dimensions_citation
22 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
458 Mendeley
citeulike
3 CiteULike
Title
Professional, structural and organisational interventions in primary care for reducing medication errors
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd003942.pub3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Hanan Khalil, Brian Bell, Helen Chambers, Aziz Sheikh, Anthony J Avery

Abstract

Medication-related adverse events in primary care represent an important cause of hospital admissions and mortality. Adverse events could result from people experiencing adverse drug reactions (not usually preventable) or could be due to medication errors (usually preventable). To determine the effectiveness of professional, organisational and structural interventions compared to standard care to reduce preventable medication errors by primary healthcare professionals that lead to hospital admissions, emergency department visits, and mortality in adults. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, three other databases, and two trial registries on 4 October 2016, together with reference checking, citation searching and contact with study authors to identify additional studies. We also searched several sources of grey literature. We included randomised trials in which healthcare professionals provided community-based medical services. We also included interventions in outpatient clinics attached to a hospital where people are seen by healthcare professionals but are not admitted to hospital. We only included interventions that aimed to reduce medication errors leading to hospital admissions, emergency department visits, or mortality. We included all participants, irrespective of age, who were prescribed medication by a primary healthcare professional. Three review authors independently extracted data. Each of the outcomes (hospital admissions, emergency department visits, and mortality), are reported in natural units (i.e. number of participants with an event per total number of participants at follow-up). We presented all outcomes as risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We used the GRADE tool to assess the certainty of evidence. We included 30 studies (169,969 participants) in the review addressing various interventions to prevent medication errors; four studies addressed professional interventions (8266 participants) and 26 studies described organisational interventions (161,703 participants). We did not find any studies addressing structural interventions. Professional interventions included the use of health information technology to identify people at risk of medication problems, computer-generated care suggested and actioned by a physician, electronic notification systems about dose changes, drug interventions and follow-up, and educational interventions on drug use aimed at physicians to improve drug prescriptions. Organisational interventions included medication reviews by pharmacists, nurses or physicians, clinician-led clinics, and home visits by clinicians.There is a great deal of diversity in types of professionals involved and where the studies occurred. However, most (61%) of the interventions were conducted by pharmacists or a combination of pharmacists and medical doctors. The studies took place in many different countries; 65% took place in either the USA or the UK. They all ranged from three months to 4.7 years of follow-up, they all took place in primary care settings such as general practice, outpatients' clinics, patients' homes and aged-care facilities. The participants in the studies were adults taking medications and the interventions were undertaken by healthcare professionals including pharmacists, nurses or physicians. There was also evidence of potential bias in some studies, with only 18 studies reporting adequate concealment of allocation and only 12 studies reporting appropriate protection from contamination, both of which may have influenced the overall effect estimate and the overall pooled estimate. Professional interventionsProfessional interventions probably make little or no difference to the number of hospital admissions (risk ratio (RR) 1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79 to 1.96; 2 studies, 3889 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). Professional interventions make little or no difference to the number of participants admitted to hospital (adjusted RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.06; 1 study, 3661 participants; high-certainty evidence). Professional interventions may make little or no difference to the number of emergency department visits (adjusted RR 0.71, 95% CI 0.50 to 1.02; 2 studies, 1067 participants; low-certainty evidence). Professional interventions probably make little or no difference to mortality in the study population (adjusted RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.17; 1 study, 3538 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). Organisational interventionsOverall, it is uncertain whether organisational interventions reduce the number of hospital admissions (adjusted RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.03; 11 studies, 6203 participants; very low-certainty evidence). Overall, organisational interventions may make little difference to the total number of people admitted to hospital in favour of the intervention group compared with the control group (adjusted RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.99; 13 studies, 152,237 participants; low-certainty evidence. Overall, it is uncertain whether organisational interventions reduce the number of emergency department visits in favour of the intervention group compared with the control group (adjusted RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.49 to 1.15; 5 studies, 1819 participants; very low-certainty evidence. Overall, it is uncertain whether organisational interventions reduce mortality in favour of the intervention group (adjusted RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.03; 12 studies, 154,962 participants; very low-certainty evidence. Based on moderate- and low-certainty evidence, interventions in primary care for reducing preventable medication errors probably make little or no difference to the number of people admitted to hospital or the number of hospitalisations, emergency department visits, or mortality. The variation in heterogeneity in the pooled estimates means that our results should be treated cautiously as the interventions may not have worked consistently across all studies due to differences in how the interventions were provided, background practice, and culture or delivery of the interventions. Larger studies addressing both professional and organisational interventions are needed before evidence-based recommendations can be made. We did not identify any structural interventions and only four studies used professional interventions, and so more work needs to be done with these types of interventions. There is a need for high-quality studies describing the interventions in more detail and testing patient-related outcomes.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 111 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 458 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 458 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 87 19%
Student > Ph. D. Student 52 11%
Student > Bachelor 48 10%
Researcher 46 10%
Other 33 7%
Other 85 19%
Unknown 107 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Nursing and Health Professions 104 23%
Medicine and Dentistry 102 22%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 36 8%
Social Sciences 20 4%
Psychology 16 3%
Other 46 10%
Unknown 134 29%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 77. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 25 February 2019.
All research outputs
#333,696
of 17,600,468 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#719
of 11,720 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#9,870
of 286,761 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#23
of 260 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,600,468 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,720 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 25.2. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 286,761 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 260 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.