Special Issue "Technology-Enabled Provision of Pharmacy Services"

A special issue of Pharmacy (ISSN 2226-4787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Efi Mantzourani
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Guest Editor
Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3NB, Wales, UK
Interests: digital technologies; point-of-care testing; information technologies; electronic prescribing; pharmacy professional development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Karen Hodson
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF10 3NB, Wales, UK
Interests: transfer of care; information technologies; electronic prescribing; electronic discharge advice letters; developing workforce

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Digital healthcare and information technologies are some of the fastest growing industries internationally, with global medical knowledge expanding rapidly. It has been argued that in the short-term future, the majority of healthcare jobs will depend upon digital skills: Indeed, understanding of healthcare data will play a pivotal role in shaping pharmacy services.

Within pharmacy, the first steps have been undertaken to explore the use of digital healthcare and information technologies to contribute to the optimisation of evidence-based practice. Literature includes examples, among others, of linking data sets from different divisions in national healthcare systems, of using pharmacy-based service provision data to shape policy, of digital systems and their potential integration in pharmacy workflow to minimise medication errors, as well as the use of artificial intelligence and robotics to augment patient care.

However, technology-enabled provision of pharmacy services is still in its infancy, and there are many challenges that the profession needs to overcome to lead the digital transformation: National integrated technological solutions for patient health records are yet to be achieved, despite the opportunity they provide to track outcomes of services and interventions, investigate for confounding factors, and contribute to better patient care; pharmacists and pharmacy teams have, to date, limited training in digital skills and effective use of data; frameworks around effective governance processes and patient confidentiality will need to be developed.

We would therefore like to invite you to share your experiences and research around digital healthcare and information technologies that support patient care and how they shaped or can shape evidence-based practice. In addition, we want this issue to be an opportunity to showcase how pharmacy is contributing internationally to changes in education, training, and approaches to patient care to effectively shape policy so that digitally supported care becomes the norm in the pharmacy profession.

Dr. Efi Mantzourani
Dr. Karen Hodson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmacy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Article
Using Technology-Supported Transfer of Care Systems: Informing Good Practice Recommendations
Pharmacy 2021, 9(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy9010036 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1300
Abstract
The Discharge Medicines Review (DMR) referral system, Refer-to-Pharmacy (RTP), PharmOutcomes and Help for Harry are UK transfer of care systems that aim to reduce the risks associated with hospital discharge. These systems use technology to facilitate the transmission of discharge information to community [...] Read more.
The Discharge Medicines Review (DMR) referral system, Refer-to-Pharmacy (RTP), PharmOutcomes and Help for Harry are UK transfer of care systems that aim to reduce the risks associated with hospital discharge. These systems use technology to facilitate the transmission of discharge information to community pharmacy, allowing community pharmacists to provide an adherence-support service. Despite the evidence that these systems benefit patient safety, there is a paucity of literature on their use. This study aimed to describe, compare and contrast these systems to highlight areas that could inform good practice recommendations. A rapid literature review was completed, and from the twenty-six sources of literature that were synthesised, three themes were identified for further exploration in semi-structured interviews with key informants: implementation, system attributes and stakeholder engagement. The key informants were purposively sampled for their role in the development and/or strategic implementation of each transfer of care system (n = 4). Audio recordings were transcribed ad verbatim and analysed both deductively and inductively. One interview was undertaken for each of the DMR, RTP and PharmOutcomes systems. Although all systems shared the same aim, differences were identified such as automated feedback for referrals, marketing strategies and practitioner accountability. Good practice recommendations suggested in this study could be applied to the future development of such systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology-Enabled Provision of Pharmacy Services)
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Article
Development and Evaluation of a Web-Based Paediatric Drug Information System for Germany
Pharmacy 2021, 9(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy9010008 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1213
Abstract
Background: Off-label use is frequent in paediatrics but that does not necessarily mean that the risk-benefit ratio is negative. Nevertheless, evidence-based data is essential for safe drug therapy. In Germany, there is no publicly available compendium providing transparent, evidence-based information for paediatric pharmacotherapy [...] Read more.
Background: Off-label use is frequent in paediatrics but that does not necessarily mean that the risk-benefit ratio is negative. Nevertheless, evidence-based data is essential for safe drug therapy. In Germany, there is no publicly available compendium providing transparent, evidence-based information for paediatric pharmacotherapy to date. This work describes the development of a web-based paediatric drug information system (PDIS) for Germany and its evaluation by health care professionals (HCP). Methods: Since 2012, a PDIS is being developed by the authors and is supported by the Federal Ministry of Health since 2016. Dosing recommendations were established based on systematic literature reviews and subsequent evaluation by clinical experts. The prototype was evaluated by HCP. Based on the results, the further development was concluded. Results: 92% of HCP believed that the PDIS could improve the quality of prescribing, as currently available information is deficient. Besides the license and formulations, dosing recommendations were the most relevant modules. A dosage calculator was the most wanted improvement. To facilitate sustainability of future development, a collaboration with the Dutch Kinderformularium was established. As of 2021, the database will be available to German HCP. Conclusion: The fundamentals for a German PDIS were established, and vital steps were taken towards successful continuation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology-Enabled Provision of Pharmacy Services)
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Article
The Use of a Decision Support System in Swedish Pharmacies to Identify Potential Drug-Related Problems—Effects of a National Intervention Focused on Reviewing Elderly Patients’ Prescriptions
Pharmacy 2020, 8(3), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8030118 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1165
Abstract
In pharmacies in Sweden, a clinical decision support system called Electronic Expert Support (EES) is available to analyse patients’ prescriptions for potential drug-related problems. A nationwide intervention was performed in 2018 among all Swedish pharmacy chains to increase the use of EES among [...] Read more.
In pharmacies in Sweden, a clinical decision support system called Electronic Expert Support (EES) is available to analyse patients’ prescriptions for potential drug-related problems. A nationwide intervention was performed in 2018 among all Swedish pharmacy chains to increase the use of EES among patients 75 years or older. The aim of this research was to study the use of EES in connection with the national intervention in order to describe any effects of the intervention, to understand how pharmacists use EES and to identify any barriers and facilitators for the use of EES by pharmacists for elderly patients. Data on the number and categories of EES analyses, alerts, resolved alerts and active pharmacies was provided by the Swedish eHealth Agency. The effects of the intervention were analysed using interrupted time series regression. A web-based questionnaire comprising 20 questions was sent to 1500 pharmacists randomly selected from all pharmacies in Sweden. The study shows that pharmacists use and appreciate EES and that the national intervention had a clear effect during the week of the intervention and seems to have contributed to a faster increase in pharmacists’ use of EES during the year to follow. The study also identified several issues or barriers for using EES. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology-Enabled Provision of Pharmacy Services)
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Case Report
Learning from Practice: How East Lancashire Hospitals’ Pharmacy Service Has Embraced Information Technology
Pharmacy 2020, 8(4), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8040177 - 25 Sep 2020
Viewed by 877
Abstract
The ethos of the pharmacy service at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) could be described as ‘let’s make things better’. We have a history of innovation involving technology and people; one without the other does not work but together they are synergistic. [...] Read more.
The ethos of the pharmacy service at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) could be described as ‘let’s make things better’. We have a history of innovation involving technology and people; one without the other does not work but together they are synergistic. The Trust currently does not have an electronic patient record (ePR) or electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA), although we do have electronic prescribing for chemotherapy. However, like all Trusts, we have many electronic systems which offer interoperability, or can support making it easier for the pharmacy team to do a good job. This article describes the many fronts we have worked on over the last ten plus years. Taken individually, the elements cannot be considered as revolutionary; together, they have helped us develop and deliver the safe, personal and effective pharmacy service that we call dedicated ward pharmacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology-Enabled Provision of Pharmacy Services)
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