Scaling-up a pharmacist-led information technology intervention (PINCER) to reduce hazardous prescribing in general practices: Multiple interrupted time series study
Background We previously reported on a randomised trial demonstrating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a pharmacist-led information technology intervention (PINCER). We sought to investigate whether PINCER was effective in reducing hazardous prescribing when rolled out at scale in UK general practices.
Methods and findings We used a multiple interrupted time series design whereby successive groups of general practices received the PINCER intervention between September 2015 and April 2017. We used 11 prescribing safety indicators to identify potentially hazardous prescribing and collected data over a maximum of 16 quarterly time periods. The primary outcome was a composite of all the indicators; a composite for indicators associated with gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding was also reported, along with 11 individual indicators of hazardous prescribing. Data were analysed using logistic mixed models for the quarterly event numbers with the appropriate denominator, and calendar time included as a covariate. PINCER was implemented in 370 (94.1%) of 393 general practices covering a population of almost 3 million patients in the East Midlands region of England; data were successfully extracted from 343 (92.7%) of these practices. For the primary composite outcome, the PINCER intervention was associated with a decrease in the rate of hazardous prescribing of 16.7% (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.80 to 0.86) at 6 months and 15.3% (aOR 0.85, 95% CI 0.80 to 0.90) at 12 months postintervention. The unadjusted rate of hazardous prescribing reduced from 26.4% (22,503 patients in the numerator/853,631 patients in the denominator) to 20.1% (11,901 patients in the numerator/ 591,364 patients in the denominator) at 6 months and 19.1% (3,868 patients in the numerator/ 201,992 patients in the denominator). The greatest reduction in hazardous prescribing associated with the intervention was observed for the indicators associated with GI bleeding; for the GI composite indicator, there was a decrease of 23.9% at both 6 months (aOR 0.76, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.80) and 12 months (aOR 0.76, 95% CI 0.70 to 0.82) postintervention. The unadjusted rate of hazardous prescribing reduced from 31.4 (16,185 patients in the numerator/515,879 patients in the denominator) to 21.2% (7,607 patients in the numerator/ 358,349 patients in the denominator) at 6 months and 19.5% (2,369 patients in the numerator/ 121,534 patients in the denominator). We adjusted for calendar time and practice, but since this was an observational study, the findings may have been influenced by unknown confounding factors or behavioural changes unrelated to the PINCER intervention. Data were also not collected for all practices at 6 months and 12 months postintervention.
Conclusions The PINCER intervention, when rolled out at scale in routine clinical practice, was associated with a reduction in hazardous prescribing by 17% and 15% at 6 and 12 months postintervention. The greatest reductions in hazardous prescribing were for indicators associated with risk of GI bleeding. These findings support the wider national rollout of PINCER in England.
This study was funded by The Health Foundation (www.health.org.uk, Award Number: 7419) AJA, DMA, MJB, RAE, KK, SR, AS and ANS, and the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (www.emahsn.org.uk, Award Number: 39701) AJA, SR. DMA was supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (award number: PSTRC-2016-003, http://www.patientsafety. manchester.ac.uk). KK is supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration East Midlands (https://arc-em.nihr.ac.uk) and the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (https://www. leicesterbrc.nihr.ac.uk).
CitationRodgers S, Taylor AC, Roberts SA, Allen T, Ashcroft DM, Barrett J, et al. (2022) Scaling-up a pharmacist-led information technology intervention (PINCER) to reduce hazardous prescribing in general practices: Multiple interrupted time series study. PLoS Med 19(11): e1004133. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1004133
Author affiliationDiabetes Research Centre
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