Evaluation of Transition to Electronic Prescriptions in Turkey: Perspective of Family Physicians

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Health Care Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hitit University, Çorum, Turkey

2 Program of Health Institutions Management, Vocational School of Health Services, Batman University, Batman, Turkey

3 Department of Health Care Management, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Abstract

Background
One of the most important steps of the health transformation program involves the application of electronic prescriptions (e-prescriptions) in health services. Information technologies are highly important in generating e-prescriptions, which can be described as a document produced by authorized personnel electronically, containing written information and instructions regarding a patient’s medication and its usage. E-prescribing has become increasingly applied in recent years as a contributing application to prescribers and patients. The aim of this study was to determine the level of satisfaction of family physicians providing primary care in Turkey regarding the application of e-prescriptions, and reveal the related positive effects and problems encountered in the first months of implementation of e-prescribing.
 
Methods
A questionnaire with eight questions was sent to e-mails of all family physicians working in Turkey in May 2013. A total of 1564 family physicians filled in the questionnaire form and sent it back by e-mail. The responses to open-ended questions were evaluated by content analysis.
 
Results
It was observed that the most frequently indicated advantages of the application of e-prescriptions were speeding up the prescription process and saving time (36.6%). The most commonly reported problems regarding the application of e-prescriptions were found to be system-induced problems (26.5%) and internet problems (19.9%). In addition, the mean score of satisfaction of the family physicians who did not report problems with the application of e-prescriptions was higher than that of those who reported having problems with it. In the study, 77.8% of the family physicians were satisfied with the application of e-prescriptions.
 
Conclusion
Although some problems were reported regarding the application of e-prescriptions in the first months of the application, family physicians participated in the study were found to be satisfied with the application of e-prescriptions, and identified positive effects on their work and processes.

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Main Subjects


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