Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2015 Jan 6;3(1):e2.
doi: 10.2196/medinform.3541.

Impact of Early Electronic Prescribing on Pharmacists' Clarification Calls in Four Community Pharmacies Located in St John's, Newfoundland

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Impact of Early Electronic Prescribing on Pharmacists' Clarification Calls in Four Community Pharmacies Located in St John's, Newfoundland

Jennifer L Phillips et al. JMIR Med Inform. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) can potentially help prevent medication errors. As the use of e-prescribing increases across Canada, understanding the benefits and gaps of early e-prescribing can help inform deployment of future e-prescribing systems.

Objective: The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine the prevalence of, reasons for, and average time taken for pharmacist clarification calls to prescribers for electronic medical record (EMR)-generated and handwritten prescriptions.

Methods: Four community pharmacies in St John's, Newfoundland, Canada prospectively collected information on clarification calls to prescribers for new prescriptions over a period of 17 to 19 weeks. Four semistructured interviews were conducted following the data collection period to gain further insight.

Results: An estimated 1.33% of handwritten prescriptions required clarification compared with 0.66% of EMR-generated prescriptions. Overall, 1.11% of prescriptions required clarification with the prescriber. While illegibility was eliminated with EMR-generated prescriptions, clarification was still required for missing information (24%) and appropriateness (51%). Key themes, including errors unique to EMR-generated prescriptions, emerged from the qualitative interviews.

Conclusions: Advanced e-prescribing functionality will enable secure transmission of prescriptions from prescribers to a patient's pharmacy of choice through a provincial electronic Drug Information System (DIS)/Pharmacy Network, which will lessen the need for clarification calls, especially in the domains of missing information and appropriateness of the prescription. This exploratory study provides valuable insight into the benefits and gaps of early e-prescribing. Advanced e-prescribing systems will provide an opportunity for further realization of quality and safety benefits related to medication prescribing.

Keywords: Clinical Pharmacy Information Systems; electronic prescribing; pharmacists; pharmacy.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest: Valerie Leung is an employee of Canada Health Infoway Inc.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

References

    1. National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention. 2014. [2014-10-15]. http://www.nccmerp.org/aboutMedErrors.html.
    1. Institute for Safe Medication Practice (ISMP) 2000. [2014-04-24]. A call to action: Eliminate handwritten prescriptions within 3 years! http://www.ismp.org/newsletters/acutecare/articles/whitepaper.asp.
    1. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies National Academy of Sciences. 2006. [2014-04-24]. Preventing medication errors http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2006/Preventing-Medication-Errors-Quality-Chasm-Series/medicationerrorsnew.pdf.
    1. Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) 2012. [2014-04-24]. Vision for e-prescribing: a joint statement by the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Pharmacists Association http://policybase.cma.ca/dbtw-wpd/Policypdf/PD13-02.pdf.
    1. Berger RG, Kichak JP. Computerized physician order entry: helpful or harmful? J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2004;11(2):100–103. doi: 10.1197/jamia.M1411. - DOI - PMC - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback