Medication safety study to use McKesson's software
McKesson’s Practice Partner Patient Records will be used to research medication safety in the ambulatory setting in a study conducted by the Practice Partner Research Network (PPRNet) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, S.C. PPRNet was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to fund the research.

Currently, PPRNet membership consists of 137 physician practices representing more than 700 healthcare providers and 615,000 active patients in 38 states, who use McKesson’s Practice Partner Patient Records medical office software to help drive quality improvements for their patients.

The study, “Medication Safety in Primary Care Practice - Translating Research into Practice” (MS-TRIP), is a three-year demonstration project that will define a set of medication safety quality indicators, incorporate performance indicators into practice management reports and assess the impact of the PPRNet-TRIP quality improvement model on the indicators. Steven Ornstein, MD, director of PPRNet and professor of family medicine at MUSC, is the principal investigator.

“Medication errors in primary care practice are an important cause of morbidity, but the extent of these errors in the outpatient setting is largely unknown, and effective interventions for reducing these errors need to be developed and tested,” said Andrea Wessell, PharmD, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy and outcome sciences at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy and a co-investigator of the MS-TRIP study. “PPRNet is an ideal real-world laboratory for primary care practices across the U.S. that are interested in quality improvement.”

“Since 1995, we’ve been working with PPRNet and hundreds of providers to help practices use EHRs to improve quality,” said Andrew G. Ury, MD, vice president and general manager of McKesson’s Practice Partner business. “It will be exciting to see PPRNet’s efforts applied specifically to the important issue of medication safety.”

Planned medication safety quality indicators include avoidance of inappropriate therapy; inappropriate dosing based on age, weight and/or renal function; drug-drug interactions; drug-disease state interactions; and adverse drug event prevention.

From October 2007 to July 2010, MS-TRIP participants will perform quarterly EHR extracts, attend annual network meetings and host site visits to help systematize the use of medication safety clinical decision support features. Results of the MS-TRIP study will be published, and the findings will be disseminated to other PPRNet practices, according to McKesson.