Prescribing errors remain a significant cause of patient harm. Safe prescribing is not just about writing a prescription, but involves many cognitive and decision-making steps. A set of national prescribing competencies for all prescribers (including non-medical) is needed to guide education and training curricula, assessment and credentialing of individual practitioners. We have identified 12 core competencies for safe prescribing which embody the four stages of the prescribing process – information gathering, clinical decision making, communication, and monitoring and review. These core competencies, along with their learning objectives and assessment methods, provide a useful starting point for teaching safe and effective prescribing.
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