Which non-technical skills do junior doctors require to prescribe safely? A systematic review

January 27, 2016

Source:  British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

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Date of publication:  November 2015

Publication type:  Systematic review

In a nutshell:  The aim of this review was to develop a prototype non-technical skills (NTS) taxonomy for safe prescribing, by junior doctors, in hospital settings.  As a result of this research, a prototype taxonomy of relevant categories (situational awareness, decision making, communication and team working, and task management) and elements was constructed.  This prototype will form the basis of future work to create a tool that can be used for training and assessment of medical students and junior doctors to reduce prescribing error in the future.

Length of publication:  12 pages

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Junior doctors’ views on reporting concerns about patient safety: a qualitative study

May 22, 2015

Source:  Postgraduate Medical Journal [Epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication:  April 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This study set out to explore the attitudes and barriers to junior doctors formally reporting concerns about patient safety to the organisations in which they are training. A qualitative study was conducted, comprising three focus groups with 10 junior doctors at an Acute Teaching Hospital Trust in the Midlands in 2013. Participants identified that existing incident reporting systems could frustrate efforts to report concerns. They described barriers to reporting, a culture within medicine that was not conducive to reporting concerns, and a lack of feedback providing evidence that formal reporting was worthwhile. They reported a tendency to rely on informal ways of dealing with concerns as an alternative to engaging with formal reporting systems. Attention needs to be paid to the features of reporting systems, the implications of hierarchies and the wider cultural context in which junior doctors work.

Length of Publication:  1 web page

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


Online patient safety education programme for junior doctors: is it worthwhile?

December 22, 2014

Source:  Irish Journal of Medical Science Epub ahead of print

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Date of publication:  November 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This study looked at online learning about patient safety for junior doctors in Ireland and asked if it is valuable. The participating doctors completed a baseline survey and a follow-up survey. The online initiative resulted in immediate improvements in self-reported knowledge such as knowing when and how to complete incident forms and disclosing errors to patients, and in attitudes towards error reporting. The interactive features were the most positive elements of the programme. The authors conclude that online training about medical errors improved junior doctors self-rated knowledge, attitudes and skills in Ireland.

Length of Publication:  1 web page

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


A simple flashcard: big impact for junior doctors!

November 26, 2014

Source:  The Clinical Teacher 11/6 pp. 454-60.

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Date of publication:  October 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  Reducing prescribing errors is crucial for ensuring patient safety. Many studies have reported that foundation-year doctors (FYs) have been found to be major contributors to prescribing errors; however, few studies have introduced meaningful interventions. Questionnaires were sent to FY2s to find the 15 most commonly prescribed medications on call. The medications and instructions were incorporated into a flashcard that was disseminated to new FY1s at a hospital in the UK. The FY1s were asked to complete a pre- and post-flashcard questionnaire, giving instructions for 10 medications and their confidence in prescribing these medications. A control group at another hospital were given the same questionnaires, but not the flashcard. No significant difference in confidence was seen in FY1s at either hospital before the flashcard was issued. At week 4, 93% of FY1s still used the flashcard 2.2 times per day, claiming that it saved time on call. The authors say they have introduced an inexpensive and simple prescribing aid, which has been statistically shown to improve prescribing confidence in FY1s.

Length of Publication:  7 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


Patients as teachers: a randomised controlled trial on the use of personal stories of harm to raise awareness of patient safety for doctors in training

October 1, 2014

Source:  BMJ Quality & Safety Aug 18. [Epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication:  August 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This study aimed to measure the impact of patient narratives used to train junior doctors in patient safety. A trial was conducted in the North Yorkshire East Coast Foundation School (NYECFS). The intervention consisted of 1-h-long patient narratives followed by discussion. The Attitude to Patient Safety Questionnaire (APSQ) and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) were used to measure the impact of the intervention. The authors state that involving patients with experiences of safety incidents in training has an ideological appeal and seems an obvious choice in designing safety interventions, but that they were unable to demonstrate the effectiveness of the intervention in changing general attitudes to safety compared to control.

Length of Publication:   Unknown

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


Improving patient safety through feedback on prescribing errors

July 30, 2014

Source:  The Health Foundation

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Date of publication:  June 2014

Publication type:  Webinar

In a nutshell: Discusses a case study video from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Bryony Dean Franklin from the Trust talks about the Shine 2012 project, which aimed to improve patient safety through feedback on prescribing errors. In UK studies of the causes of prescribing errors, a common theme is that junior doctors are often unaware of making errors and receive little feedback on errors and how to prevent them. According to research, providing feedback on aspects of clinical performance can improve quality of care and lead to professional behaviour change. There is little experience with this approach in the UK hospital setting though so this project proposed a practical low-cost intervention building on hospital pharmacists’ existing practice to identify and rectify prescribing errors.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Promoting antimicrobial stewardship: using video tools for junior doctors’ induction

April 30, 2014

Source:  British Journal of Hospital Medicine 75/2 pp.106-8

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Date of publication:  February 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  There are key issues for infection control and patient safety with antimicrobial prescribing. This article presents a novel video tool for junior doctors promoting antimicrobial stewardship. It is hoped that this will lead to safe antimicrobial prescribing, through improved awareness of local information technology systems.

Length of Publication:  3 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.