Safety risks associated with the lack of integration and interfacing of hospital health information technologies: a qualitative study of hospital electronic prescribing systems in England.
Electronic prescribing is an important component of health information technology–related patient safety efforts. Some health care systems have invested in hospital-wide integrated programs that include prescribing modules, whereas others have linked standalone systems through interfacing mechanisms. This intensive study integrated data from six hospitals (including multiple interviews, observations, implementation documents, and expert round-table discussions) to explore the tradeoffs between these technologic strategies. The authors describe various integration and interfacing issues with both standalone and multimodular systems, such as increased workloads due to lack of timely information and insufficient information transfer necessitating manual data entry between modules. A recent PSNet perspective focused on the many advances and remaining challenges of electronic prescribing.