A Technological Innovation to Reduce Prescribing Errors Based on Implementation Intentions: The Acceptability and Feasibility of MyPrescribe.

Keyworth (2017)
Summary by 

Although prescribing of medication in hospitals is rarely an error-free process, prescribers receive little feedback on their mistakes and ways to change future practices. Audit and feedback interventions may be an effective approach to modifying the clinical practice of health professionals, but these may pose logistical challenges when used in hospitals. Moreover, such interventions are often labor intensive. Consequently, there is a need to develop effective and innovative interventions to overcome these challenges and to improve the delivery of feedback on prescribing. Implementation intentions, which have been shown to be effective in changing behavior, link critical situations with an appropriate response; however, these have rarely been used in the context of improving prescribing practices. Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of providing feedback on prescribing errors via MyPrescribe, a mobile-compatible website informed by implementation intentions. Data relating to 200 prescribing errors made by 52 junior doctors were collected by 11 hospital pharmacists. These errors were populated into MyPrescribe, where prescribers were able to construct their own personalized action plans. Qualitative interviews with a subsample of 15 junior doctors were used to explore issues regarding feasibility and acceptability of MyPrescribe and their experiences of using implementation intentions to construct prescribing action plans. Framework analysis was used to identify prominent themes, with findings mapped to the behavioral components of the COM-B model (capability, opportunity, motivation, and behavior) to inform the development of future interventions. MyPrescribe was perceived to be effective in providing opportunities for critical reflection on prescribing errors and to complement existing training (such as junior doctors e-portfolio). The participants were able to provide examples of how they would use "If-Then" plans for patient management. Technology, as opposed to other methods of learning (eg, traditional "paper based" learning), was seen as a positive advancement for continued learning. MyPrescribe was perceived as an acceptable and feasible learning tool for changing prescribing practices, with participants suggesting that it would make an important addition to medical prescribers training in reflective practice. MyPrescribe is a novel theory-based technological innovation that provides the platform for doctors to create personalized implementation intentions. Applying the COM-B model allows for a more detailed understanding of the perceived mechanisms behind prescribing practices and the ways in which interventions aimed at changing professional practice can be implemented.