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Effects of Intersectoral Shared Electronic Medication Lists on Drug Therapy Safety

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2016.0508-0513

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Jochen Gensichen, Michael H. Freitag, Tobias Neisecke, Danny Ammon, Jörg Breitbart, Antje Freytag, Karl-Jürgen Bär, Olaf Scupin, Peter Schlattmann, Martin Specht, Michel Wensing

Keywords: medication list shared electronic drug therapy safety review

Background: Intersectoral health information exchange (HIE) is seen as having a positive impact on patient safety. A crucial aspect of HIE is the implementation of a shared electronic medication list. This paper tries to gather and summarize evidence on the effects of shared electronic medication lists on the safety of drug therapy.

Methods: The present review is based on a systematic literature search in MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Central databases. Inclusion criteria for title and abstract and full text evaluation, respectively, were the existence of a shared electronic medication list used by providers from at least two different sectors of the health care system, the analysis of medication related outcomes as well as a controlled design of the underlying study.

Results: The database search returned 358 hits of which none fitted the inclusion criteria. Main reasons for exclusion were a missing control group or the lack of testing for medication related outcomes. Most papers emphasized conceptual aspects or were qualitative work (acceptance studies). After modifying the criteria seven publications could be included. Some of them found evidence for an increase of drug therapy safety by shared medication lists, such as lower adverse drug events (ADE). At the same time risks for patient safety were identified which may arise from drug discrepancies and responsibility problems between different providers when managing the medication list.

Conclusions: There is no clear evidence for positive effects of shared electronic medication lists on drug therapy safety, due to an insufficient number of trials covering this topic. Therefore, further research is necessary to prove the assumed positive impact.


(State: 05.01.2017)

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