PCN Dashboards Now Live!

We have now launched our long-awaited Primary Care Networks (PCNs) dashboard, made possible thanks to the the membership list being published by NHS England last week.

We have PCN prescribing dashboards for every single NHS PCN and their member general practices. (Don’t know your PCN’s name? You can find it on your practice dashboard). This allows anyone to explore NHS prescribing patterns in their PCN and how this compares to others across England — supporting safer, more efficient prescribing.

In addition to our PCN prescribing dashboard we have also developed a bespoke customised email alert for every single PCN. You can sign up to our innovative email alert by putting your email address into the box on the bottom left of your own PCN prescribing dashboard. Every month we will send you a simple email giving you an update on your PCN prescribing, highlighting what you are good at, identifying areas that may require review and highlighting changes compared to your PCN peers.

New Research Paper Preprint

We have a new paper currently under open peer-review assessing the impact of electronic health record system design on the safe prescribing of ciclosporin, tacrolimus and diltiazem.

Briefly, we found that unsafe prescribing is more common in some EHR systems than others: that design choices in EHR strongly influence safe prescribing. We have chosen open peer review for this paper, so that the issue can be investigated swiftly by vendors and others. As always we also share all our data openly as measures, so you can look at your own CCG/practice performance at OpenPrescribing (ciclosporin & tacrolimus, and diltiazem). More broadly we think this paper shines a light on a very important issue, namely the neglected role of health informatics in the NHS. We will be sharing much more on this in the new year, from our new policy thinktank!

Guest Blog

High dose dexamethasone, and democratising access to data analysis tools

At a recent event we met one of our users, Calum Polwart (Twitter @ShinyBlackShoe). He told us how he used OpenPrescribing to investigate the prescribing of high strength dexamethasone in primary care. He has written a guest blog for us on what he did and what he found.

This story demonstrates why we build tools like OpenPrescribing. We want to put everything in your hands: not just the data, but tools to use it effectively, to ask and answer your own questions, including on things that we have never thought of. We think Calum’s blog is an excellent example of these principles but we would love to hear yours, please get in touch and share your stories of using data to help inform care for people, we are here to help you share!

OpenPrescribing comes to you!

Our pharmacist Brian is available to speak at your events! Get in touch if you’re running events for GPs, prescribing advisors, nurses or other practice staff, and you’d like us to show you how to use OpenPrescribing and talk about how to make the most of your data to improve care.

We can also arrange webinars for smaller groups. Get in touch!

Interested in monitoring blood test requests?

As you know, we are now building OpenPathology.net, modelled on OpenPrescribing: this will help everyone understand variation in use of blood tests across the NHS.

We have lots of interesting things to tell you about so we’ve launched a new newsletter!

Join our OpenPathology mailing list

In case you missed it

All the best bits from the previous newsletter

  • New Measures! We launched several new measures and we now have over 80 measures!
    • Zuclopenthixol acetate — an important but rare safety event: prescribing of zuclopenthixol ACETATE, not recommended in primary care, may be prescribed instead of zuclopenthixol DECANOATE. Read more.
    • Seven day prescribing. The BMA has reported increasing GP workload with requests for seven day prescriptions to fund Medicines Compliance Aids (MCAs) / dosette boxes. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society advises against MCAs in the majority of cases. Read more.
    • Inhalers and the Environment — dry powdered inhalers (DPI) are less harmful to the environment than traditional metered dose inhalers. Read more.
    • Toothpaste — if toothpaste must be prescribed it should normally be prescribed by a dentist. We show that in the past year, GPs have issued nearly 130,000 items for toothpaste. Explore.
  • New data download functions. You can download measures data for all of the organisations shown on the page with one click, e.g. all practices in a CCG, or all CCGs in England (example).
  • New Paper in the BMJ! Here we show huge variation in adoption of warranted changes in prescribing behaviour, using some exciting new openly available change detection methods. Read it here, listen to the podcast, read the editorial, or read the twitter thread.

Prescribing data update

We’ve updated OpenPrescribing with September’s data. Head over to openprescribing.net to explore.

In other news

Highlights from our other projects

New BMJ Editorial

In light of a recent major retraction we discuss why researchers should share their analytic code right from the start, and why it is important for safety, efficiency, reproducibility and quality in research, data science, and evidence. Read it in full here, read Ben’s thread here, and find all of our code for our projects here!

Science and Technology Select Committee Follows-Up on Trials Transparency

In our latest blog we discuss progress on the Select Committee’s recent activity on trials transparency, including letters they sent to every [public university and NHS trust in the UK that sponsors clinical trials on the EU register. Read more here.

Unreported Trial of the Week

Our latest featured trial is “Enasidenib for use in advanced solid tumors” (NCT02273739), completed June 2016. While in this case it is not covered by any legal mandate to report, there are numerous ethical and practical reasons why the results of all trials should be shared. Read more.

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