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Patient Perceptions of Electronic Prescriptions in Belgium: An Exploratory Policy Analysis

1
Laboratory of Physiopharmacology, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium
2
Department of Primary and Interdisciplinary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmacy 2018, 6(4), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy6040130
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 8 December 2018
In today’s world, digitalization and automation are ubiquitous and different countries have different strategies for implementing information technology in health care. In Belgium, these plans include the dematerialization of prescriptions, following the implementation of a system of electronic prescribing. In the light of these changes, we studied the attitudes of patients toward a paperless prescription. We collected the opinions of 273 patients by survey. Older people, or people with more complex medical needs, expressed a clear desire to keep receiving a paper version of the prescription. Younger people foresaw practical advantages, and expressed a willingness to buy prescription-only medicines online. Knowledge about the planned changes was, however, limited. Privacy and autonomy issues were expressed by a large fraction of people. The problem of what happens when a third person wants to pick up medicines for a patient, a frequent occurrence, was often mentioned. We conclude that, at present, patients have inadequate knowledge and understanding about the planned changes. In light of these considerations and the recent technical problems encountered by the system, we feel that an updated risk/benefit analysis of the planned policy is urgently needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic prescribing; statistics and numerical data; community pharmacy services; organization and administration; public opinion; surveys and questionnaires; health services administration electronic prescribing; statistics and numerical data; community pharmacy services; organization and administration; public opinion; surveys and questionnaires; health services administration
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Suykerbuyk, L.; Robbrecht, M.; De Belder, S.; Bastiaens, H.; Martinet, W.; De Loof, H. Patient Perceptions of Electronic Prescriptions in Belgium: An Exploratory Policy Analysis. Pharmacy 2018, 6, 130.

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