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Pharmacist–physician communications in a highly computerised hospital: sign-off and action of electronic review messages.

Pontefract SK, Hodson J, Marriott JF, et al. Pharmacist-Physician Communications in a Highly Computerised Hospital: Sign-Off and Action of Electronic Review Messages. PLoS One. 2016;11(8):e0160075. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160075.

August 24, 2016
Pontefract SK, Hodson J, Marriott JF, et al. PLoS One. 2016;11(8):e0160075.

Although electronic health records (EHRs) with computerized provider order entry are known to improve medication safety, experts have raised concerns that EHRs adversely affect interprofessional communication by reducing personal interactions among providers. This study examined unidirectional computerized messages from pharmacists and physicians within the EHR. Investigators found that less than half of messages from pharmacists were acknowledged by the prescribing physicians. Among the messages in which pharmacists requested a specific action, physicians completed the action about one-third of the time. Messages were more likely to be acknowledged and acted upon when pharmacists and physicians had an existing working relationship. The authors suggest that EHRs should be better designed to foster interprofessional collaboration. A PSNet perspective highlighted the role of pharmacists in interprofessional care and safety.