European Open Platform for Prescribing Education

European Open Platform for Prescribing Education




Unibo structure involved: Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences - DIMEC

Scientific manager: Fabrizio De Ponti
Unibo Team: Fabrizio De Ponti, Milo Gatti

Project Web page:

Erasmus+ Action type: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices Strategic partnerships HE - Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness 
Project reference: 2020-1-NL01-KA226-HE-083098

Start Date: 1 March 2021
End Date: 28 February 2023

€ 229,710
€ 12,950.00

Coordinator: Stichting Vumc (NL)


  • Universidade de Lisboa (PT)
  • Universitatea Transilvania Din Brasov (RO)
  • Centre for Human Drug Research (NL)
  • Sveuciliste U Zagrebu (HR)
  • Universiteit Gent (BE)
  • Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis (EL)
  • Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna (IT)
  • Stichting Radboud Universiteit (NL)
  • Universidad De La Laguna (ES)


Most medicines are prescribed by junior doctors in their first years after graduation. These junior doctors from all over Europe report that their medical training has insufficiently prepared them for this important and meticulous task. Unfortunately, this lack of preparedness is reflected in high numbers of prescription errors, with potential hazardous consequences for patients.

Prescribing medicines is a cognitive skill that needs to be actively trained during medical education. Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics (CPT, i.e. prescribing) teachers in the majority of European countries, however, teach using a traditional lecture based methodology where students listen rather than practice. Our consortium, a delegation of the European Association for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (EACPT) Education Working Group, aims to improve the prescribing education in Europe by harmonizing it into problem-based curricula (with active training). For this purpose, we have initiated several projects, including the compilation of universal learning objectives and the introduction of a European Prescribing Examination.

In addition to these projects, digital education may play a key role in the improvement and harmonization of European prescribing education, because digital resources can be easily shared via the internet and re-used in a variety of educational systems. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and various levels of lockdown throughout Europe, possibilities for on-site education have been reduced and the demand for digital (online) education has increased. Our research studies, however, have shown that the “digital education readiness” of European prescribing teachers is poor. Only two-thirds of the teachers have used digital resources and the amount of resources at their disposable was limited to a median of two. These resources were mostly created for local use only and not shared (neither for free nor commercially) with other institutions. We believe that, by actively sharing digital resources, we can improve the digital education readiness of European prescribing educators and at the same time harmonize prescribing education and improve its quality.

Therefore, we propose EurOP2E – The European Open Platform for Prescribing Education. The aim of which is to facilitate European Prescribing Educators with high quality problem based educational resources to improve their digital education readiness and transform their education. This platform will contain a large number of high-quality resources that can be freely used, adapted and re-distributed without copyright restrictions, they will be Open Educational Resources (OERs). We have performed a survey study among European prescribing teachers, almost all of whom saw great potential for this platform. We have identified the facilitators and barriers to the adoption of this platform and OERs in general (e.g. concerns about the applicability of and quality of resources). In an international consensus meeting, with prescribing educators from all over Europe, we have subsequently reached consensus on important measures to include in the platform that will reduce these barriers (e.g. all resources must be translatable and will be peer-reviewed to ensure quality). A framework for the platform was created.

With the help of this grant, we aim to create this “teach-the-teacher” platform and to fill it with high quality content. We aim to facilitate the sharing of existing resources, but also to create new OERs that will be accessible via this platform. Both the platform and its content will be created according to the wishes of the CPT educators. Therefore, our network of 300+ European prescribing Educators from nearly all of the medical schools in the EU and Britain will be consulted to provide feedback on the initial design of the platform. Moreover, we will launch an international qualitative research study to find out what type of content is most warranted by the international community, before creating the OERs. The project plan includes the creation of the platform, at least three collaboratively created OERs, a toolkit to make the European prescribing educators aware of OERs and their advantages and a final evaluation study about the uptake of the platform. The platform will be disseminated with the help of national and international academic societies and a dedicated symposium in the summer of 2022 (multiplier event). Sustainability of the platform is ensured by the EACPT education working group.

In the long term, we aim for the platform to facilitate a vibrant community of European prescribing educators in collaboratively and continuously improving their teaching. This will improve the teaching standards for thousands of medical students (but also nurse-prescribers, dentists and others with prescribing qualification) yearly in Europe and hopefully help to reduce the burden of prescribing errors for patients all over Europe.