Identifying and establishing consensus on the most important safety features of GP computer systems: e-Delphi study

Inform Prim Care. 2005;13(1):3-12. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v13i1.575.


Our objective was to identify and establish consensus on the most important safety features of GP computer systems, with a particular emphasis on medicines management. We used a two-round electronic Delphi survey, completed by a 21-member multidisciplinary expert panel, all from the UK. The main outcome measure was percentage agreement of the panel members on the importance of the presence of a number of different safety features (presented as clinical statements) on GP computer systems. We found 90% or greater agreement on the importance of 32 (58%) statements. These statements, indicating issues considered to be of considerable importance (rated as important or very important), related to: computerised alerts; the need to avoid spurious alerts; making it difficult to override critical alerts; having audit trails of such overrides; support for safe repeat prescribing; effective computer-user interface; importance of call and recall management; and the need to be able to run safety reports. The high level of agreement among the expert panel members indicates clear themes and priorities that need to be addressed in any further improvement of safety features in primary care computing systems.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Delphi Technique*
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control
  • Medication Systems
  • Risk Management / methods*
  • United Kingdom