Improving blood and ECG monitoring among patients prescribed regular antipsychotic medications

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Aims: and methods It is now well established that antipsychotic medications are associated with adverse effects such as metabolic dysfunction, hyperprolactinaemia and cardiac arrhythmias. We completed an audit cycle between 2008 and 2010 to assess whether the implementation of a high-visibility prompt and an educational programme would improve monitoring rates among patients prescribed regular antipsychotics admitted to a 59-bedded psychiatric hospital in West Sussex.

Results: There was an improvement in monitoring rates for most audit standards. The greatest improvement was seen in measurement of random plasma glucose and cholesterol levels. Rates improved irrespective of the risk of metabolic dysfunction. However, prolactin measurement remained static and the ECG recording deteriorated.

Clinical implications: There appears to be a growing awareness of the need to screen for metabolic dysfunction among patients prescribed regular antipsychotic medication. A high-visibility prompt and educational programme helps to increase monitoring rates. However, more needs to be done to improve the mortality and morbidity rates among this patient subpopulation.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Specialist Registrar, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Nelson Ward, Lambeth Hospital, Oak House, 108 Landor Road, London SW9 9NU, UK; parashar.ramanuj@

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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