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Prototype Prescribing Outlier Dashboard for Ixworth Surgery

At OpenPrescribing we are piloting a number of data-driven approaches to identify unusual prescribing and collect feedback on this prescribing to inform development of new tools to support prescribers and organisations to audit and review prescribing. These pilot results are provided for the interest of advanced users, although we don't know how relevant they are in practice. There is substantial variation in prescribing behaviours, across various different areas of medicine. Some variation can be explained by demographic changes, or local policies or guidelines, but much of the remaining variation is less easy to explain.

The DataLab is keen to hear your feedback on the results. You can do this by completing the following survey or emailing us at [email protected]. Please DO NOT INCLUDE IDENTIFIABLE PATIENT information in your feedback. All feedback is helpful, you can send short or detailed feedback.

This report has been developed to automatically identify prescribing patterns at a chemical level which are furthest away from “typical prescribing” and can be classified as an “outlier”. We calculate the number of prescriptions for each chemical in the BNF coding system, the count of all prescriptions within that chemical's BNF subparagraph, for prescriptions dispensed between June 2021 and December 2021. We then calculate the ratio of these counts along with the mean and standard deviation of those ratios across all Practices. From this we can calculate the “z-score”, which is a measure of how many standard deviations a given Practice is from the population mean. We then rank your “z-scores” to find the top 10 results where prescribing is an outlier for prescribing higher than its peers and those where it is an outlier for prescribing lower than its peers.

For each outlier chemical, a kernel density estimation plot of all Practice's chemical:subparagraph ratios is provided, with this Practice's ratio overlaid in red.

It is important to remember that this information was generated automatically and it is therefore likely that some of the behaviour is warranted. This report seeks only to collect information about where this variation may be warranted and where it might not, to inform research on this topic. Our full analytical method code is openly available on GitHub here.

This is a new, experimental feature. We'd love to .

Prescribing where Ixworth Surgery is higher than most

BNF Chemical Chemical Items BNF Subparagraph Subparagraph Items Ratio Mean std Z_Score Plots
Paracetamol and caffeine 8 Non-opioid analgesics and compound preparations 2,513 0.00 0.00 0.00 56.29
Glipizide 71 Sulfonylureas 443 0.16 0.00 0.01 16.76
Fluorescein sodium 4 Ocular diagnostic & peri-operative prepn & photodynamic tt 9 0.44 0.00 0.04 12.09
Olmesartan medoxomil 908 Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists 3,366 0.27 0.01 0.03 7.61
Flurbiprofen 7 Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs 993 0.01 0.00 0.00 7.27
Dimeticone (Parasiticidal) 5 Parasiticidal preparations 6 0.83 0.04 0.12 6.78
Ketamine hydrochloride 5 Drugs used in nausea and vertigo 625 0.01 0.00 0.00 6.73
Olmesartan medoxomil/amlodipine 63 Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists 3,366 0.02 0.00 0.00 6.02
Olmesartan medoxomil/hydrochlorothiazide 51 Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists 3,366 0.02 0.00 0.00 5.48
Meloxicam 264 Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs 993 0.27 0.03 0.04 5.32

Prescribing where Ixworth Surgery is lower than most

BNF Chemical Chemical Items BNF Subparagraph Subparagraph Items Ratio Mean std Z_Score Plots
Nitrofurantoin 389 Urinary-tract infections 566 0.69 0.96 0.06 -4.67
Naproxen 379 Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs 993 0.38 0.69 0.10 -3.09
Levothyroxine sodium 5,062 Thyroid hormones 5,113 0.99 1.00 0.00 -2.94
Permethrin 1 Parasiticidal preparations 6 0.17 0.83 0.24 -2.76
Urea hydrogen peroxide 0 Removal of ear wax and other substances 1 0.00 0.83 0.33 -2.52
    Bendroflumethiazide 455 Thiazides and related diuretics 1,940 0.23 0.57 0.16 -2.13
    Sertraline hydrochloride 1,878 Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors 6,554 0.29 0.46 0.09 -1.98
    Procyclidine hydrochloride 15 Antimuscarinic drugs used in parkinsonism 34 0.44 0.85 0.21 -1.96
    Moxonidine 0 Centrally-acting antihypertensive drugs 22 0.00 0.65 0.33 -1.95
      Ibuprofen 102 Rubefacients, topical NSAIDS, capsaicin and poultice 738 0.14 0.52 0.20 -1.88