Information technology impacts on flows of information and task coordination on outpatient medication delivery processes

Michelle Anne Jahn, Purdue University


With over 4 billion prescriptions dispensed annually in the United States and an abundance of opportunities for adverse drug events, the safety and efficiency of medication delivery processes has become a priority for many healthcare organizations. This thesis addresses challenges and opportunities for improving the safety, efficiency, and quality of care of medication delivery for both providers and patients in the understudied community pharmacy system. The goal of this research is to understand how healthcare information technology (health IT) impacts medication delivery processes in community pharmacy systems. This work uses a systems engineering framework to analyze two different examples of health IT implementation from different points in medication delivery process. Study 1 utilizes time study methods to evaluate the effectiveness of an Automated Prescription Tracker (APT) technology from the pharmacist’s perspective. The results indicate that there are several unintended consequences with the physical design of the APT technology and its integration with the existing system technology. The second study used survey methods to explore patients’ perceptions of features in pharmacy mobile applications. Key findings from Study 2 revealed that patients might be less interested in elaborate features and more interested in features that help them be more involved in their healthcare. While Study 1 and Study 2 used different approaches, they are related in that they are each an example of evaluating health IT in community pharmacy from two different perspectives (patient and provider) at two different points in medication delivery. The main theoretical contribution of this work is the presentation of medication delivery as a cyclical work process where there are multiple points for technology interventions. The key findings from both studies can be applied to the design and implementation of future technologies to further improve the efficiency, safety, and quality of care in community pharmacy systems with respect to medication delivery processes.




Caldwell, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Information Technology|Industrial engineering|Pharmacy sciences

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