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Nurse Prescribing, Vol. 6, Iss. 9, 12 Sep 2008, pp 391 - 396

The findings reported in this paper explore the prescriptions issued to dermatology patients by nurse prescribers. Thirty five prescriptions on which 79 items were prescribed were collected from 10 nurse prescribers and independently assessed. Each nurse formed the focus of a case study, which represented a setting within England in which nurses prescribed medicines for dermatology patients. Data were collected between June 2006 and September 2007. Specialist nurses were more likely than general practice nurses to provide clear instructions regarding the application of topical therapies (P=0.02), hand-write prescriptions, and prescribe by brand name. Nurses in general practice were more likely to computer generate prescriptions, prescribe generically (P=0.02), and provide information about treatment duration. Although omissions on prescriptions were minor, it is important that mechanisms are in place, such as access to electronic prescribing, monitoring and audit of prescribing, to ensure the quality of prescriptions written by nurses.

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