Physicians' Estimates of Electronic Prescribing's Impact on Patient Safety and Quality of Care
08 April 2018
06 May 2018
08 June 2018 (online)
Background Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) is a potentially important intervention that can be used to reduce errors. It provides many potential benefits over handwritten medication prescriptions, including standardization, legibility, audit trails, and decision support. Electronic health record (EHR) and e-prescribing systems may greatly enhance communication and improve the quality and safety of care.
Objectives Our aim is to investigate physician's opinions about the influence of electronic prescriptions on patient safety and quality of care.
Methods This study extends the technology acceptance model to analyze the acceptance of e-prescribing and adds an understanding of what kind of impact the external variables (patient identification and the interoperability of applications) have on physicians' individual work performance (i.e., patient safety and quality of care). The empirical analysis uses data from surveys conducted in 2012 and 2014 in Finland. The participants were physicians, and e-prescribing was the only method that could be used for prescribing medication when these studies were conducted.
Results Physicians' perceived usefulness of e-prescribing was significantly associated with patient safety and quality of care. The interoperability of an EHR had a significant effect on both the perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of e-prescribing. The findings show that experience with an e-prescribing system has a positive effect on participants' perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of e-prescribing.
Conclusion This study highlights potential safety and efficiency benefits associated with integrated health information technology in health care. The perceived usefulness of e-prescribing affected physicians' opinions on patient safety and quality of care.
Clinical Relevance Statement
• The PU of an e-prescribing system was significantly associated with PSQ.
• The interoperability of an EHR and patient identification had a direct association with e-prescribing's PEoU.
• This study highlights the importance of attitudinal factors and cognitive instrumental processes where the medical professionals' adoption and utilization of health information systems with technology acceptance is concerned. Newly qualified physicians may use the information systems without prejudice.
Protection of Human and Animals Subjects
This study did not collect patient data. The study was performed in compliance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects, and the study received approval from the University of Eastern Finland Committee on Research Ethics (Statement 12/2012).
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