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Article

How Physicians Renew Electronic Prescriptions in Primary Care: Therapeutic Decision or Technical Task?

1
Clinical Pharmacy Group, Division of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
2
Kirkkonummi Health Centre, 02400 Kirkkonummi, Finland
3
HUS Pharmacy, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, 00290 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Caitriona Cahir and Enrica Menditto
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010937
Received: 31 August 2021 / Revised: 11 October 2021 / Accepted: 14 October 2021 / Published: 18 October 2021
In long-term pharmacotherapies, the renewal of prescriptions is part of the medication use process. Although the majority of medicines are used with renewed prescriptions, little research has focused on renewal practices. The aim of this study was to explore current renewal practices from a primary care physician’s perspective to identify system-based challenges and development needs related to the renewal practices. This qualitative study was conducted in two phases in public primary health care centres of Kirkkonummi, Finland. First, five physicians were shadowed on-site while they renewed prescriptions. The findings of the shadowing phase were further discussed in two focus group discussions with seven other physicians than in the shadowing phase. Inductive content analysis was used for data analysis utilizing Reason’s risk management theory as a theoretical framework. Due to problems in the renewal process, including impractical information systems, a lack of reconciled medication lists, and a lack of time allocated for renewing prescriptions, physicians felt that monitoring and reviewing each patients’ medications for renewal was complicated. Therefore, they felt that renewing, at times, became a technical task rather than a therapeutic decision. The physicians suggested information system improvements, enhanced interprofessional cooperation, and patient involvement as strategies to ensure rational pharmacotherapy and patient safety in the renewal of prescription medicines. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic prescription; e-prescription; prescribing; optimizing prescribing; renewing; medication safety; medication management; population health; outpatient; primary care electronic prescription; e-prescription; prescribing; optimizing prescribing; renewing; medication safety; medication management; population health; outpatient; primary care
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MDPI and ACS Style

Oravainen, T.; Airaksinen, M.; Hannula, K.; Kvarnström, K. How Physicians Renew Electronic Prescriptions in Primary Care: Therapeutic Decision or Technical Task? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 10937. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010937

AMA Style

Oravainen T, Airaksinen M, Hannula K, Kvarnström K. How Physicians Renew Electronic Prescriptions in Primary Care: Therapeutic Decision or Technical Task? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(20):10937. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010937

Chicago/Turabian Style

Oravainen, Taina, Marja Airaksinen, Kaija Hannula, and Kirsi Kvarnström. 2021. "How Physicians Renew Electronic Prescriptions in Primary Care: Therapeutic Decision or Technical Task?" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 20: 10937. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010937

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