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Teaching the principles of safe prescribing to a mixed profession postgraduate cohort: program development

Authors Cardiff LM, Lum EPM, Mitchell C, Nissen LM, Patounas MP, McBride LJ

Received 27 March 2018

Accepted for publication 16 May 2018

Published 30 October 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 635—644

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S169424

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Lynda M Cardiff,1 Elaine PM Lum,1 Charles Mitchell,1 Lisa M Nissen,1 Marea P Patounas,1 Liza-Jane McBride2

1Pharmacy Discipline, School of Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 2Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland, Clinical Excellence Division, Queensland Health, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Background: Prescribing medicines is a complex task. A robust prerequisite curriculum that enables the efficient and consistent training of safe and effective prescribers is important. Despite differing prescribing contexts and professional attributes, the core elements of safe and effective prescribing relevant to all prescribers can be identified. This article describes the development process and content of a training program for safe prescribing, which was designed for a mixed cohort of allied health professionals in Queensland, Australia.
Methods: The allied health prescribing training program was designed to align with national standards for prescribing and competencies for safe prescribing. International training programs, for nonmedical prescribing, were examined to inform the program development. Content was delivered by experienced prescribers from a range of professions. The inaugural cohort was surveyed before and after training to ascertain their confidence to prescribe.
Results: A training program for allied health prescribers was developed and delivered to enable the implementation of a state-sponsored research trial in Queensland public facilities. The program consisted of two modules (the second of which is described in this article) complemented by a mandatory period of supervised workplace learning. Remote blended learning, comprising online prerecorded lectures, self-directed learning, teleconference seminars, and a 2-day on-campus intensive residential, was used to deliver content. A total of 19 allied health professionals (12 physiotherapists and 7 pharmacists) completed the program that equipped them to begin a prescribing trial within their specific practice settings. Post module completion, 90% of the cohort felt confident to prescribe for patients in their practice area.
Conclusion: Program development and delivery were challenging, requiring attention to both the needs of each profession and those of the individual practitioner who was required to apply generic prescribing principles to their specific practice setting. Further refinement of content, delivery, assessment, and resource allocation is required for future cohorts.
Keywords: allied health, nonmedical prescribing, training, education, curriculum

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