Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

General Practice

Decision making, evidence, audit, and education: case study of antibiotic prescribing in general practiceCommentary: What can we learn from narratives of implementing evidence?

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 22 April 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1114

Rapid Response:

Use the technology

All my prescriptions, except those for controlled drugs, are computer
generated. GPASS, the commonest practice computer system in Scotland, has a
"formulary" option which allows me to preset the dose of drug and length
of course. I use this option extensively because it saves me time. (It
can of course be over-ridden) By spending a minute or two converting the
formulary entry, I have made sure that 100% of my prescriptions for
trimethoprim for UTI are for 3 days only. Presumably other systems could
have a similar facility. Computers don't get bored or forget that they
ought to change behaviour. This simple and basic procedure might help to
remove some of the angst in this situation and remove the need for
"computerised reminders..loose leaf practice manuals...and educational
activities" to implement this particular change.

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 April 2000
David Syme
general practitioner