Main Article Content
Use of prescribing pathways is a key issue in General Practice as they curb unnecessary drug costs (1) and ensure patient safety by eliminating drugs no longer recommended by NICE. Following the results of an audit in a London GP practice on prescribing pathways for Overactive Bladder (OAB), we carried out a study aiming to quantify use of prescribing pathways, understand opinions and propose solutions to the issue of under-use.
We carried out an opinion survey of general practitioners (n=12) from 3 different NHS Trusts online, using a mixture of dichotomous determinant-choice, scaling and open questions. We quantified self-reported use of the pathways and collected ideas for solutions.
Our initial OAB audit data showed that 10% of practitioners followed pathways initially but following increased awareness there was a significant (+40%) increase in use (CI 10.8-65.5%, p<0.05). Our Opinion survey results highlighted a gap between the perceived importance of prescribing pathways (100%) and the use in clinical practice (70%) and described novel reasons as to why practitioners do not use pathways including a lack of time and hindrance to the consultation (25%) or that they are too complex (25%).
We found that though practitioners on the whole view pathways as useful, they do not employ them in practice due to practical problems. Potential solutions which were suggested and we describe in our poster include incorporating pathways into computer systems, simplifying pathways at the level of creation, weekly lecture sessions for awareness and more.
(1) Iacobucci G. NHS will publish national list of “low value” drugs to curb GPs’ prescribing costs. BMJ. 2017;:j1613.