Nurse prescribers cut errors and save beds

Employing diabetes specialist nurse prescribers in secondary care reduces costs, prescribing errors and length of stay according to research presented to the ANP conference in London last week.

The study, carried out in Peterborough, analysed insulin and oral hypoglycaemic medication errors, length of stay and the extent to which patients felt able to manage their care for three months with or without the involvement of a diabetes specialist nurse prescriber.

The average number of errors fell from six to four, while mean length of stay fell from 18 to 13 days. This represented a cost saving of £132,500 over the three-month intervention.

Molly Courtenay, professor of prescribing and medicines management at the University of Reading, who presented the results, added that a greater number of patients in the intervention group reported that they were able to self-manage their diabetes and had fewer problems obtaining their injection/pen devices and food at the appropriate times.

Despite the findings the trust decided not to fund another diabetes specialist nurse prescriber.


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