Medication Information Transfer: An Exploratory Study in a Rural Queensland Community
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Background: Inadequate or inaccurate transfer of medication information can challenge optimal medication management and result in medication errors, which may lead to increased hospital admissions. Studies of medication information transfer typically involve the hospital-community interface in urban settings. There is little research on medication information transfer between community health services, between hospitals (rural and metropolitan) and rural community settings. Aim: To explore medication information transfer issues faced by rural healthcare providers and their perspectives on initiatives to optimise the process. Method: A geographical mapping exercise identified a community comprising four towns in rural Queensland. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 49 health professionals in the community on issues with medication supply and management, including medication information transfer. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Results: Issues identified included: discrepancies in medication records, lack of a coordinated system in communicating medication or prescription information between health professionals, and inadequate communication between regional secondary/tertiary facilities and rural primary care providers. Participants proposed that the root cause(s) of these challenges related to workforce issues and inefficiencies in communication and networking systems. Conclusion: Key issues were identified relating to medication information transfer between healthcare providers and between healthcare settings, which impacted on optimal medication management for rural patients.
Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Copyright 2011 Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Health and Community Services