A Study into an Intervention to Decrease Benzodiazepine Prescribing by Providers in an Urban Clinic

Research Paper Title

An Intervention to Decrease Benzodiazepine Prescribing by Providers in an Urban Clinic.

Background

The objective of this quality improvement project was to decrease the amount of benzodiazepines (BZDs) prescribed by providers at a Midwestern university outpatient clinic.

Methods

Clinic providers participated in a brief, live educational intervention combining academic detailing (i.e., the provision of current evidence about BZD) and pharmaceutical detailing (i.e., a sales technique borrowed from pharmaceutical companies).

A 1% decrease in BZD prescribing was set as the measure of success.

Using data from the electronic medical record, the monthly average of BZD prescriptions written within calendar year 2017 (before project launch) was compared to the number written 30 days after the intervention.

Results

Following the intervention, an 80% reduction in BZD prescribing was calculated.

Conclusions

Combined academic and pharmaceutical detailing could be an effective way to change prescribing behaviour in this provider population.

Further investigation is needed to ascertain whether the change in prescribing behaviour can be sustained, and that no harm is being done to patients who are currently dependent on BZD medications.

Reference

Platt, L., Savage, T.A. & Rajagopal, N. (2020) An Intervention to Decrease Benzodiazepine Prescribing by Providers in an Urban Clinic. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 58(1):39-45. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20191218-08.

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