Improving medication safety is a fundamental priority for transforming the U.S. health care system. Few improvement strategies have been tested in primary care, and an advanced understanding of how best to implement safe practices beyond the inpatient setting is needed. The overall goal of the proposed project is to decrease preventable prescribing and monitoring medication errors in primary care practices across the United States through dissemination of a medication-safety focused quality improvement model. The model, PPRNet-Medication Safety (PPRNet-MS), is a safe practice intervention based on findings from an ongoing AHRQ-funded demonstration project in 20 PPRNet practices and incorporates prioritization of evidence-based quality philosophies, staff involvement and teamwork, delivery system redesign, patient activation, and use of EMR tools across the continuum of primary care. The Practice Partner Research Network (PPRNet) is a novel, nationwide primary care practice-based research network among 156 primary care practices in 40 States who use a common electronic medical record (EMR) and pool nonidentifiable data for quality improvement and research. PPRNet-MS will be disseminated to 60 PPRNet practices over the two-year project through network meetings, site visits and practice performance reports. Implementation of the model will be evaluated using mixed methods. The next phase of dissemination will be the development of a Toolkit for use by other primary care practices. Findings from this project will enhance the medication safety knowledge base in primary care and potentially improve safe medication prescribing and monitoring for hundreds of thousands of primary care patients across the country.
Preventable medication prescribing and monitoring errors are an important cause of preventable morbidity. Improving safe medication practices is a fundamental priority for transforming the U.S. health care system. The proposed dissemination research project will evaluate the implementation of a medication safety quality improvement intervention in a network of primary care practices and develop a toolkit for broad use by other primary care practitioners.