Early Adopters of Electronic Prescribing Struggle to Make Meaningful Use of Formulary Checks and Medication History Documentation
ABSTRACT Use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) can improve safety and reduce costs of care by alerting prescribers to drug-drug interactions, patient nonadherence to therapies, and insurance coverage information. Deriving these benefits will require clinical decision support based on presentation of accurate and complete formulary and benefit (F&B) and medication history (RxH) data to prescribers, but relatively little is known about how this information is used in primary care.
This is a multimethod comparative case study of 8 practices, which were selected to ensure practice size and physician specialty variation, implementing a stand-alone e-prescribing program. Field researchers observed prescription workflow and interviewed physicians and office staff.
Before implementation, few prescribers reported using F&B references when making medication choices; all used paper-based methods for tracking medication history. After implementation, some prescribers reported using F&B data to inform medication choices but missing information reduced confidence in these resources. Low confidence in RxH data led to paper-based workarounds.
Challenges experienced with formulary checks and RxH documentation led to prescriber distrust and unwillingness to rely on e-prescribing-based information. Greater data accuracy and completeness must be assured if e-prescribing is to meet meaningful use objectives to improve the efficiency and safety of prescribing in primary care settings.
SourceAvailable from: Deborah J Cohen[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Electronic health record (EHR) use in ambulatory care can improve safety and quality; however, problems with design, implementation, and poor interface with other systems lead users to develop 'workarounds', or behaviors users adopt to overcome perceived limitations in a technical system. We documented workarounds used in independent, community-based primary care practices, and developed a typology of their key features. Comparative case study of EHR use in seven independent primary care practices. Field researchers spent approximately 1 month in each practice to observe EHR use, conduct patient pathways, and interview clinicians and staff. We observed workarounds addressing a wide range of EHR-related problems, including: user interface issues (eg, insufficient data fields, limited templates), barriers to electronic health information exchange with external organizations, and struggles incorporating new technologies into existing office space. We analyzed the observed workarounds inductively to develop a typology that cuts across specific clinical or administrative processes to highlight the following key formal features of workarounds in general: temporary/routinized, which captures whether the workaround is taken for granted as part of daily workflow or is understood as a short-term solution; avoidable/unavoidable, referring to the extent to which the workaround is within the practice's power to eliminate; and deliberately chosen/unplanned, which differentiates strategically chosen adaptations from less thoughtful workarounds. This workaround typology provides a framework for EHR users to identify and address workarounds in their own practices, and for researchers to examine the effect of different types of EHR workarounds on patient safety, care quality, and efficiency.Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 07/2013; 21(E1). DOI:10.1136/amiajnl-2013-001686 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to identify physicians' and pharmacists' perceptions of the challenges and benefits to implementing a nationwide electronic prescribing network linking medical clinics and community pharmacies in Quebec, Canada. Forty-nine people (12 general practitioners, 2 managers, 33 community pharmacists, and 2 pharmacy staff members) from 40 points of care (10 primary care clinics (42% of all the connected sites) and 30 community pharmacies (44%)) were interviewed in 2013. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. A low level of network use was observed. Most pharmacists processed e-prescriptions by manual entry instead of importing electronically. They reported concerns about potential errors generated by importing e-prescriptions, mainly due to the instruction field. Paper prescriptions were still perceived as the best means for safe and effective processing of prescriptions in pharmacies. Speed issues when validating e-prescription messages were seen as an irritant by physicians, and resulted in several of them abandoning transmission. Displaying the medications based on the dispensing data was identified as the main obstacle to meaningful use of medication histories. Numerous challenges impeded realization of the benefits of this network. Standards for e-prescription messages, as well as rules for message validation, need to be improved to increase the potential benefits of e-prescriptions. Standard drug terminology including the concept of clinical medication should be developed, and the implementation of rules in local applications to allow for the classification and reconciliation of medication lists from dispensing data should be made a priority. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 04/2015; DOI:10.1093/jamia/ocv026 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We conducted a systematic review identifying users groups' perceptions of barriers and facilitators to implementing electronic prescription (e-prescribing) in primary care. We included studies following these criteria: presence of an empirical design, focus on the users' experience of e-prescribing implementation, conducted in primary care, and providing data on barriers and facilitators to e-prescribing implementation. We used the Donabedian logical model of healthcare quality (adapted by Barber et al) to analyze our findings. We found 34 publications (related to 28 individual studies) eligible to be included in this review. These studies identified a total of 594 elements as barriers or facilitators to e-prescribing implementation. Most user groups perceived that e-prescribing was facilitated by design and technical concerns, interoperability, content appropriate for the users, attitude towards e-prescribing, productivity, and available resources. This review highlights the importance of technical and organizational support for the successful implementation of e-prescribing systems. It also shows that the same factor can be seen as a barrier or a facilitator depending on the project's own circumstances. Moreover, a factor can change in nature, from a barrier to a facilitator and vice versa, in the process of e-prescribing implementation. This review summarizes current knowledge on factors related to e-prescribing implementation in primary care that could support decision makers in their design of effective implementation strategies. Finally, future studies should emphasize on the perceptions of other user groups, such as pharmacists, managers, vendors, and patients, who remain neglected in the literature.Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 10/2013; 21(3). DOI:10.1136/amiajnl-2013-002203 · 3.93 Impact Factor