Connecting primary care clinics and community pharmacies through a nationwide electronic prescribing network: A qualitative study

Marie-Pierre Gagnon, Julie Payne-Gagnon, Claude Sicotte, Julie-Alexandra Langué-Dubé, Aude Motulsky


Background The use of medication is at the heart of primary care, but is also the cause for major health concerns. It is therefore important to examine the prescription of medication process.

Objective This study identifies the barriers and facilitators perceived by community pharmacists and primary care physicians concerning the adoption of a nationwide electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) network in the province of Quebec, Canada.

Methods We used purposive sampling to identify the most intensive users of the e-prescribing network. We conducted phone and in-person interviews. Interviews were transcribed, and we analysed their content with NVivo, using the clinical adoption framework (CAF) for the codification of the data.

Results We interviewed 33 pharmacists, 2 pharmacy technicians, 11 physicians and 3 clinic managers. Adoption of the e-prescribing network was fairly low. The respondents underlined adaptation of their work environment, openness to change and perception of benefits as facilitators to the adoption of the network. However, important barriers were perceived, including system quality issues and paper prescriptions being the only legal document in the prescribing process. Even if respondents recognised that the e-prescribing network can offer substantial benefits to the prescribing process, issues still persisted and raised barriers to the full use of such a network, especially in a context where different local information systems are connected within a nationwide e-prescribing network.

Conclusion This study, based on the CAF, provides a better understanding of the factors related to the adoption of a nationwide e-prescribing network connecting primary care clinics and community pharmacies.



adoption factor, clinical adoption framework, electronic prescribing, pharmacists, physicians, primary care

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