Results of the arizona medicaid health information technology pharmacy focus groups

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Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy


Background: In 2007, a federal Medicaid Transformation Grant was awarded to design, develop, and deploy a statewide Health Information Exchange and Electronic Health Record in Arizona, United States. Objective: To explore the health information technology needs, knowledge, and expectations of Arizona's health care professionals, moderated focus groups were conducted. This article describes the results of the pharmacist focus groups. Methods: Focus group activities included a brief presentation, completion of a paper-based survey, and group discussion. The methods included solicitation by invitation, participant selection, meeting content, collaterals, focus group execution, recording, analysis, and discerning comparability among groups. Results: Pharmacy focus group discussions centered on electronic prescribing, including the anticipated advantages: reducing handwriting interpretation errors, improving formulary compliance, improving communication with prescribers, increasing efficiency, and ensuring data accuracy. Disadvantages included: medication errors, inadequate training and knowledge of software applications, and inflated patient expectations. Conclusions: Pharmacists ranked e-prescribing as the highest priority feature of an electronic health system. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

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