Structural Issues Associated with Healthcare Delivery : The Use of Electronic Prescribing System

Introduction

The adoption and implementation of an electronic prescribing system is fundamental in ensuring gains in both safety and finances through the enhancement of prescribing, supply, as well as administration of medicines.  The use of clinical computer systems, such as electronic prescribing systems allow the provision of efficient solution to healthcare organizations in a bid to reduce administrative and clinical transaction costs while at the same time providing superior services to their clients. In addition, the use of clinical computers is instrumental in enhancing the operational control as well as streamlining healthcare operations. It is authoritative to note that clinical computer systems can be employed as an essential tool in improving prescription process through the automation of the process involved in collecting, collating, and retrieving patient information.  Considering that such systems can enhance the efficiency and productivity of organizations, there is need for healthcare organizations to adopt and implement the electronic system with the purpose of enhancing healthcare provision particularly in the reduction of prescription errors.

Research Methodology

The research methodology is enhanced through the utilization of numerous evidence sources that include interviews, questionnaires, documents, observations, as well as artifacts. This descriptive study endeavors to offer description and classification of explicit dimensions of healthcare systems, the challenges involved and the knowledge base of groups, and individuals working with the healthcare system through the reticulation of the commonalities innate in the discrete observations. Under the descriptive theory there are two categories namely; naming and classification. This approach involves the provision of more elaborate description that involves stating the characteristics and dimensions of the challenges are structurally interlinked in ways such as overlapping, sequential, mutually exclusive, or hierarchical in the adoption and implementation of the healthcare systems.

The study sought to create secondary data sources to be utilized for their historical value and in a bid to examine the primary data with the purpose of developing the chain of events as well as creating a comparison criterion. The secondary data can be classified into external and internal subject to their derivation. These assortment of data sources encapsulated both formal and informal materials besides comments and personal notes derived from various participants and from typical data-banks. The use of unofficial data materials was crucial in the identification of potential participants for the research.

 

Problem Statement

There exists a healthcare culture that accentuates the fact that drug selection is considered as a significant phase of prescriptions, while the dose routes as well as the frequency are not accorded much importance. Subsequently, the prescription writing has been thus viewed as a low risk errand to a point that it can be undertaken by junior practitioners which has given rise to prescriptions being illegible, incomplete and at times ambiguous. Misinterpretations are another cause of prescription error. However, it should be noted that the causes of prescription errors are multifaceted. For instance there are individual factors which encircle drug and patient knowledge, as well as prescribing proficiency. Team factors that lead to these errors involve failing to supervise subordinate prescribers (Barber et al., 2006).

Background of Problem

In principle prescribing is a process deals with a doctor, nurse or professional practitioner authorizing the use of medications as well as other forms of treatments for a patient and providing instructions regarding the quantity and timing of use. Additionally, prescription has also been used in relation to laboratory tests, psychological interventions, clinical imaging, diet and exercises, as well as eye glasses, besides any other regime aimed at enhancing the well being and health of a patient. Although prescriptions are conventionally hand-written, the growth of technology in healthcare has precipitated the introduction of electronic prescribing.  It is authoritative to note that the term prescriber is used to encapsulate physicians assistants, dentists, clinical psychologists, podiatrists, clinical pharmacists , and in some jurisdictions, nurse practitioners (Barber et al., 2006).

Solutions of the Problem

The use of clinical computers in reducing the prescription errors is a significant strategy for modern healthcare provision industry. Reduction of prescription errors can be enhanced through electronic prescribing through the use of decision support, electronic medical databank, automated pharmacy systems, the use of bar coding, electronic discharge prescriptions and automated IV pumps, as well as targeted patient information. The successful use of clinical computer systems to administer prescriptions, also known as Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE), is subject to the human systems of operation as well as the perception of the problem prior to implementation of electronic prescribing (Emswiler & Nichols, 2009). . Tabulated below are the major strengths and demerits of both prescription methods (Barber et al., 2006).

Controversies of the Problem

The adoption of the electronic prescribing system within ERP systems coupled with the current advancement of healthcare technologies such as drugs and surgical procedures will call for increased level of expectations which in turn will render healthcare demand as potentially inestimable. Subsequently, the problem of scarcity of resources and health economics principle will works towards the management of the resources scarcity in a bid to maximize the benefits. These adoption of technology in prescription will bring forth have considerable growth to the healthcare organization, both in terms of healthcare provisions as well as spending involved. There is a long-term quandary that is associated with medical technology and innovations in driving the growth in health expenditure, as well as the cost and benefits associated with technology in the provision of healthcare (Hughes, 2010).

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