BERLIN, DE - (HealthTech Wire / News) - Representatives of doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, industry and politicians discussed how the implementation of IT solutions that address medication safety can be encouraged in a roundtable session during conhIT 2014s Networking Programme.

Data on the efficacy of such solutions was readily available, said Martin Hug, head of pharmacy at Freiburg University Hospital. Hug has recently conducted a study together with colleagues from University Hospital Hamburg Eppendorf. The pharmacists looked at how often prescriptions of doctors were not executed properly by the nurses.

It turned out that with a paper-based medication process; every second medication order by doctors was not processed correctly or at least led to problems for the nurse. With a computerized order entry system, this percentage was reduced to 39%. And when a closed loop medication system was used, the error rate decreased to 1.6%.

Given these figures, it was a shame that in Germany in 2014, only 6% of all hospitals actually use computerized medication order entry, said Matthias Meierhofer, head of the bvitg working group on medication safety. And closed loop medication systems barely exist at all outside of Hamburg.

Another important issue in medication safety is the correct transfer of medication data between different medical institutions and between hospitals and ambulatory doctors. This is what makes medication safety such a complex topic: It is not only about involving different professions but also about connecting multiple institutions, said Amin-Farid Aly from the German National Chamber of Doctors.

In fact, no one seems to be truly responsible for what happens between the discharge of a patient from hospital and the moment he reappears in the office of an ambulatory doctor. This is why it might make sense to establish a national medication safety strategy, as is currently being tried in Germany.

Matthias von Schwanenflgel from the German Ministry of Health outlined the progress that has been made during the last three years. In a first step, doctors and pharmacists have agreed on the details of a common medication plan thatin the future can be used to transmit medication information effectively from one institution to another.

Technically, it is very basic, though: It uses a printed medication list that can be digitized with the help of a barcode scanner. Whether doctors will accept this kind of solution remains unclear . Von Schwanenflgel is aware of the criticism. But he stresses that the current government is very committed to improve medication safety. We have achieved a lot in the last three years. I am convinced we are on the right track.


Source: HealthTech Wire

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