Randomised controlled trial wins prestigious MJA, MDA National Prize for Excellence in Medical Research

Nicholas J Talley AC
Med J Aust 2018; 209 (2): 48. || doi: 10.5694/mja18.p1607
Published online: 16 July 2018

Every year the MJA, Australia’s leading medical journal and one of the world’s top 20 general medical journals, publishes outstanding and well cited original research. It’s an achievement to have your work published in the MJA. In the past few years, manuscript submissions have continued to climb, 90% of original research is now rejected, and every published original article has to pass rigorous in-house editorial and statistical review, as well as double-blind peer review.

I am proud to announce that Ms Erica Tong and her colleagues (Cristina Roman, Biswadev Mitra, Gary Yip, Harry Gibbs, Harvey Newnham, De Villiers Smit, Kirsten Galbraith and Michael Dooley) have won the $10 000 MJA, MDA National Prize for Excellence in Medical Research. Their article, “Reducing medication errors in hospital discharge summaries: a randomised controlled trial”, was independently judged to be the best paper published by the MJA in 2017 (Med J Aust 2017; 206: 36-39), fighting off stiff opposition. The results of the trial were striking; medication errors fell from over 60% to 15% through the simple intervention of pharmacists completing the medical discharge summary. Further, the number needed to treat (to avoid one high or extreme risk error) was ten. The Editorial team at MJA congratulates Ms Tong and her colleagues. Practical, research-driven administrative changes in hospital discharge procedures are easy for clinicians to support, and the unacceptably high medication error rates in standard discharge summaries highlighted by Tong and colleagues’ data can and should now be substantially mitigated. You may want to refer to the editorial by Martin and May in the same issue for more commentary (Med J Aust 2017; 206: 20-21).

The MJA is proud to publish high quality articles from across all specialties, from general practice to surgery to public health. We also publish themed issues, with feature issues this year including planetary health, exercise and sports medicine (to coincide with the Commonwealth Games), Parkinson disease and neurology, paediatrics, and cardiology. We welcome new submissions of all types including randomised controlled trials, large cohort studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and guidelines; please do send us your best work. We are also working towards further improving the quality of all our processes, for example by speeding up the time to decision and publication, with initial decisions on manuscripts submitted now averaging as few as five days.

The impact of the MJA is rising. It’s your Journal; we welcome your submissions and feedback as we work to publish papers that help inform and guide practice. You might win the MJA, MDA National Prize next year!

  • Nicholas J Talley AC

  • Editor-in-Chief, Medical Journal of Australia



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