SPARS Project

Overview and progress

The Single Prescription and Administration Record for Scotland (SPARS) project has several key objectives:

  • To design, publish and implement a standard hospital prescription chart for Scotland with the ultimate intention of reducing the level of prescribing errors made by junior hospital doctors
  • To develop an education package that would support good practice in prescribing using such a chart
  • To form links with other groups in Scotland and elsewhere who are undertaking similar work around harmonising prescribing documentation

The SPARS group includes members who represent major stakeholder groups including senior and junior doctors, pharmacists and nurses, and patient safety advocates. The Group has been responsible for delivering a work programme that has included the following activities:

  • carrying out a background literature review to explore the advantages and disadvantages of standardization;
  • collecting examples of the numerous prescription and administration charts currently used in Scottish hospitals;
  • undertaking a study to measure, in detail, the extent of variations in current prescription charts;
  • consulting Scottish stakeholders on the requirements for a Scottish prescription chart;
  • undertaking a study of prescription chart usability, observing the speed and accuracy with which junior doctors can transcribe common prescriptions onto varied chart designs currently used in Scotland;
  • designing a draft Scottish national prescription chart.