Appl Clin Inform 2021; 12(05): 1049-1060
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1739196
Research Article

Electronic Medication Management Systems: Analysis of Enhancements to Reduce Errors and Improve Workflow

Madaline Kinlay
1  Biomedical Informatics and Digital Health, School of Medical Sciences, Charles Perkins Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
,
Lai Mun Rebecca Ho
2  Pharmacy Services, Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, Australia
,
Wu Yi Zheng
3  Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia
,
Rosemary Burke
2  Pharmacy Services, Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, Australia
,
Ilona Juraskova
4  School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
,
Rebekah Moles
5  School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
,
Melissa Baysari
1  Biomedical Informatics and Digital Health, School of Medical Sciences, Charles Perkins Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
› Author Affiliations
Funding This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Abstract

Background Electronic medication management (eMM) has been shown to reduce medication errors; however, new safety risks have also been introduced that are associated with system use. No research has specifically examined the changes made to eMM systems to mitigate these risks.

Objectives To (1) identify system-related medication errors or workflow blocks that were the target of eMM system updates, including the types of medications involved, and (2) describe and classify the system enhancements made to target these risks.

Methods In this retrospective qualitative study, documents detailing updates made from November 2014 to December 2019 to an eMM system were reviewed. Medication-related updates were classified according to “rationale for changes” and “changes made to the system.”

Results One hundred and seventeen updates, totaling 147 individual changes, were made to the eMM system over the 4-year period. The most frequent reasons for changes being made to the eMM were to prevent medication errors (24% of reasons), optimize workflow (22%), and support “work as done” on paper (16%). The most frequent changes made to the eMM were options added to lists (14% of all changes), extra information made available on the screen (8%), and the wording or phrasing of text modified (8%). Approximately a third of the updates (37%) related to high-risk medications. The reasons for system changes appeared to vary over time, as eMM functionality and use expanded.

Conclusion To our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically review and categorize system updates made to overcome new safety risks associated with eMM use. Optimization of eMM is an ongoing process, which changes over time as users become more familiar with the system and use is expanded to more sites. Continuous monitoring of the system is necessary to detect areas for improvement and capitalize on the benefits an electronic system can provide.

Author Contributions

M.K., M.B., W.Y.Z., and R.B. designed the study. L.M.H. provided expertise in the electronic medication system and refining the classification. M.K. analyzed the data, with assistance from M.B., W.Y.Z., and L.M.H. All authors assisted in interpreting results and writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

No human or animal subjects were directly involved in this project.


Supplementary Material



Publication History

Received: 14 June 2021

Accepted: 02 October 2021

Publication Date:
10 November 2021 (online)

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