Optimising prescribing feedback conversations:

Enabling and empowering prescribers to enhance prescribing development and patient care.


Our previous research consistently demonstrates substantial reductions in prescribing errors following feedback interventions (e.g. 38% reduction in Parker et al. 2019). Yet such interventions have not been adopted or sustained as part of routine healthcare practice, when faced with funding cuts or staffing shortages. We have shown that prescribing practice is complex and multidirectional, with significant social and professional influences. The diverse sources of uncertainty that conjointly lead to prescribing errors defy unidirectional notions, such as ‘corrective feedback on error’.

This project focused on the implementation of prescribing feedback conversations that, when optimised, can improve patient care.

This project aimed to identify and better understand the barriers and enablers to implementing prescribing feedback interventions that can empower prescribers to enhance their development and improve patient care; and to identify the process measures that can help to drive adoption, retention and spread of good practice.

With support from ESRC Impact Acceleration funding, we have brought together diverse academic and external partners who represent medical education, policy-makers, and clinical practice, and engaged with a wide community of key stakeholders, including pharmacists, doctors, nurses, patients, educational programme directors, and policy makers.

This is leading to the production of an ‘Optimising prescribing toolkit’, to provide free-to-use resources for clinical practitioners to spread knowledge of best practice, and gives policy makers quick access to evidence syntheses to support policy change.