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Developing a learning health system: Insights from a qualitative process evaluation of a pharmacist-led electronic audit and feedback intervention to improve medication safety in primary care.


ABSTRACT:

Introduction

Developments in information technology offer opportunities to enhance medication safety in primary care. We evaluated the implementation and adoption of a complex pharmacist-led intervention involving the use of an electronic audit and feedback surveillance dashboard to identify patients potentially at risk of hazardous prescribing or monitoring of medicines in general practices. The intervention aimed to create a rapid learning health system for medication safety in primary care. This study aimed to explore how the intervention was implemented, adopted and embedded into practice using a qualitative process evaluation.

Methods

Twenty two participants were purposively recruited from eighteen out of forty-three general practices receiving the intervention as well as clinical commissioning group staff across Salford UK, which reflected the range of contexts in which the intervention was implemented. Interviews explored how pharmacists and GP staff implemented the intervention and how this affected care practice. Data analysis was thematic with emerging themes developed into coding frameworks based on Normalisation Process Theory (NPT).

Results

Engagement with the dashboard involved a process of sense-making in which pharmacists considered it added value to their work. The intervention helped to build respect, improve trust and develop relationships between pharmacists and GPs. Collaboration and communication between pharmacists and clinicians was primarily initiated by pharmacists and was important for establishing the intervention. The intervention operated as a rapid learning health system as it allowed for the evidence in the dashboard to be translated into changes in work practices and into transformations in care.

Conclusions

Our study highlighted the importance of the combined use of information technology and the role of pharmacists working in general practice settings. Medicine optimisation activities in primary care may be enhanced by the implementation of a pharmacist-led electronic audit and feedback system. This intervention established a rapid learning health system that swiftly translated data from electronic health records into changes in practice to improve patient care. Using NPT provided valuable insights into the ways in which developing relationships, collaborations and communication between health professionals could lead to the implementation, adoption and sustainability of the intervention.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6203246 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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