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Improved care practice: the example of Tournus

The experience of a French hospital identifies success factors and obstacles to be overcome in the development and updating of reliable aids to therapeutic decision-making: a real collective, sustained means of improving professional practice.

Each healthcare organisation in France should have a “drugs and sterile medical device committee” to provide its healthcare professionals with up-to-date tools to assist them with therapeutic decision-making.

Since 1996, to help prescribers rationalise their list of drugs on a basis that is reliable and pertinent to their needs, the Tournus committee has used a rigorous, pragmatic approach: the involvement of all the players in the drug circuit; inventories; listing of priorities; using the international nonproprietary name (INN) as a common language; searches for reliable, up-to-date and independent literature. Each stage is defined, developed collectively and disseminated to all healthcare professionals.

One of the achievements at Tournus is the classification of drugs into 4 categories, which has made it possible to reduce the number of drugs available at the hospital pharmacy, from 2,000 in 1996 to around 500 in 2008, which is ample. The difficulties encountered often related to lack of resources or initiatives that stretched out over a long period.

©Prescrire February 2009

Source: "Commission du médicament : l'expérience d'un hôpital local" Rev Prescrire 2009; 29 (303): 60-63.

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