Background E-prescribing is understood to provide benefits to patient safety by reducing medication errors and may provide some staff efficiencies (Ammenwerth, Sschnell-Inderst, Machan, & Siebert, 2008; Franklin, O’Grady, Parastou et al., 2007). However implementing e-prescribing, requires introduction of new working processes and within a specialist health care setting an adapted e-prescribing system is recommended (Ward & Watson, 2013). Despite the perceived benefits, e-prescribing use nationally is low and a paucity in the research exists regarding implementation within a hospice setting.
To share the lived experience of implementing e–prescribing within a hospice In–Patient Unit, Community team and Lymphoedema service;
To monitor staff attitudes and perceptions of e–prescribing pre– and post– implementation;
To review medication error rates pre – and post – implementation.
Method Implementation commenced on 29 May 2019. The hospice has an established electronic patient record system and the e-prescribing software is an add-on to the existing system. The e-prescribing software has been specifically written for a hospice service. Implementation was supported by a contracted IT team and a designated project manager. A pre-implementation questionnaire was completed by all hospice staff. The questionnaire focused on perceived benefits and barriers of e-prescribing, compared to the previous paper-based system and staff attitudes about the change in clinical practice.
Results Nine days post implementation, e-prescribing was fully implemented on the In-Patient Unit as all patients had a prescription in place as part of their electronic patient record. At the time of writing, staff continue to gain experience of using the system in clinical practice being supported by the IT team.
Future plans Pre-implementation questionnaires require analysis. The questionnaire will be repeated at three and six months post-implementation, to monitor staff experience and attitudes over time. Medication error rates will be monitored via an electronic clinical incident reporting system.