Aim To gather opinions from doctors and pharmacists to improve the design of the PICU MR form generated by the electronic prescribing and clinical notes system to support transfer of care from PICU to downstream wards that use paper systems.
Method A purposive sample of 10 forms covering a comprehensive range of medication information common to PICU patients was selected from practice between March 2014 and May 2014. Pharmacists (n=7) and doctors (n=9) who received these forms on downstream wards were invited to participate in semi-structured one-to-one interviews (n=20) with the PICU pharmacist within 48 hrs of receipt to explore their views about the form. The interview schedule was informed from literature and peer review. Comments and suggestions about layout and the MR process were invited. Two pilot interviews (1 pharmacist, 1 doctor) were conducted to test a priori themes were covered and that the questioning style was open, avoided leading and the participant was given time to consider their response. Interviews were recorded using an encrypted digital recorder, transcribed and checked (10%) for accuracy and coding. Framework analysis focused on documentation and work processes.
Setting A 110 bed paediatric hospital with critical care, medical, neurology, haematology, oncology and mixed speciality surgical services. The 8-bedded PICU uses the electronic clinical information system (CIS) MetaVision® provided by iMDsoft® and includes electronic prescribing and clinical notes. Downstream wards using paper systems are provided with a new paper drug chart and printed CIS documentation on transfer.
Key findings New themes extracted during analysis included misunderstanding of the purpose of the form, barriers to use and accessibility of the form. Despite positive comments about the form “…just pull the sheet and you know the medication is confirmed…” (Pharmacist) and “…I think it's a really good system. I think it's quite user friendly and it prints it out in an easy to read way…” (Dr). Issues were identified including unfamiliar documentation “on a paper kardex you would see straight away [medication was discontinued]… you don't know that you need to look somewhere else until you've missed it and it's along with some other chart…” (Pharmacist). Suggestions were made to alter the layout of the form to follow the logical order of steps in the MR process. Non-standard terminology introduced by the computer system was considered ambiguous. Barriers to using the form included misunderstandings in relation to the stage of the patient's journey – was it referring to admission to hospital, admission to PICU, during PICU admission or transfer from PICU? Educational needs were identified during the interviews. Missing forms were a problem. “…our biggest issue is that they come down without having had the discharge printed off…” (Dr).
Conclusion User input informed recommendations for improvements such as clarity of wording and layout of the form, ensuring the MR form is available downstream and highlighted areas for user education. Further evaluation will be undertaken following implementation of these changes.
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