Background and Methods
Data at this site were collected between December 2011 and August 2012. Overall, we conducted 23 interviews with users (pharmacists, nurses, and doctors of varying levels of seniority) and implementers; and eight observations (12.5 hours) of strategic meetings and system use. We also took notes during the recruitment meeting and collected eight Trust documents relating to anticipated changes in processes with the introduction of the new system (including work process maps, implementation plans, business case).
The Trust provides acute care for an urban population of approximately 330,000 patients. At the time of data collection, the Trust had a separate Patient Administration System (PAS), which was used for clinical information and did not integrate with ePrescribing.
They began the implementation of a standalone ePrescribing system in 2010, and already had a pharmacy stock control system by the same developer. The system had limited decision support for interactions/allergies and also included order sets, but it was not used for certain types of medications (including infusions and warfarins). As the system did not have reporting functionality, the Trust had developed a local reporting system in house, which allowed drawing on ePrescribing data and searching for medications of interest (e.g. high risk).
The implementation of the ePrescribing system took place over a period of 12 months (four wards per month), and the Trust was live in all 36 inpatient wards at the time of data collection. They had not implemented in outpatients and critical care.