Medication Safety in Primary Care Practice: results from a PPRNet quality improvement intervention

Am J Med Qual. 2013 Jan-Feb;28(1):16-24. doi: 10.1177/1062860612445070. Epub 2012 Jun 7.


Reducing medication errors is a fundamental patient safety goal; however, few improvement interventions have been evaluated in primary care settings. The Medication Safety in Primary Care Practice project was designed to test the impact of a multimethod quality improvement intervention on 5 categories of preventable prescribing and monitoring errors in 20 Practice Partner Research Network (PPRNet) practices. PPRNet is a primary care practice-based research network among users of a common electronic health record (EHR). The intervention was associated with significant improvements in avoidance of potentially inappropriate therapy, potential drug-disease interactions, and monitoring of potential adverse events over 2 years. Avoidance of potentially inappropriate dosages and drug-drug interactions did not change over time. Practices implemented a variety of medication safety strategies that may be relevant to other primary care audiences, including use of EHR-based audit and feedback reports, medication reconciliation, decision-support tools, and refill protocols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Incompatibility
  • Drug Therapy / methods
  • Drug Therapy / standards
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control*
  • Medication Errors / statistics & numerical data
  • Partnership Practice / organization & administration
  • Partnership Practice / standards
  • Patient Safety
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration*