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Health Information Technology Use and Patient Safety: Study of Pharmacists in Nebraska

1
Center for Health Services Research and Patient Safety, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178, USA
2
Department of Pharmacy Sciences, Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Omaha, NE 68178, USA
3
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Omaha, NE 68178, USA
4
School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53705, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
At the time of this study Ms. Shah was enrolled as a M.S. in Pharmacy Science candidate at Creighton University.
Pharmacy 2019, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7010007
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract

This study aimed to describe the impact of 13 different health information technologies (HITs) on patient safety across pharmacy practice settings from the viewpoint of the working pharmacist. A cross-sectional mixed methods survey of all licensed practicing pharmacists in 2008 in Nebraska (n = 2195) was developed, pilot-tested and IRB approved. One-fourth responded (24.4%). A database of pharmacists’ responses to closed-ended quantitative questions and in vivo qualitative responses to open-ended questions was built. Qualitative data was coded and thematically analyzed, transformed to quantitative data and descriptive and relational statistics performed. One-third were involved in an error of any kind in the six months preceding the survey, and half observed an error or “near miss”. Most errors or near misses were attributed to workload. When asked specifically about the 13 HITs, these participants reported 3252 observations about the types of errors that were associated with each. These were reports about either error types reduced or eliminated by integration of HIT (n = 1908) or occurring in association with a specific technology’s use (n = 1344). Integration of HIT into pharmacy practice also introduced new error types such as excessive alert programming in the pharmacy computer systems clinical information support causing pharmacists to experience alert fatigue and ignore warnings or bar code scanners mismatching NDC codes of products resulting in wrong drug product identification. Continued vigilance is essential to identifying patient safety issues and implementing safety strategies specific to each HIT. View Full-Text
Keywords: pharmacy; health information technology; patient safety; medication safety; error reporting; practice culture; mixed methods pharmacy; health information technology; patient safety; medication safety; error reporting; practice culture; mixed methods
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Galt, K.A.; Fuji, K.T.; Kaufman, T.K.; Shah, S.R. Health Information Technology Use and Patient Safety: Study of Pharmacists in Nebraska. Pharmacy 2019, 7, 7.

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