Relevant and easily accessible drug information at point-of-care is essential for physicians' decision making when prescribing. However, the information available by using Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSSs) often does not meet physicians' requirements. The Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) is statutory information about drugs. However, the current structure, content and format of SmPCs make it difficult to incorporate them into CDSSs and link them to relevant patient information from the Electronic Health Records. The aim of the study was to evaluate the perceived needs for drug information among physicians in Sweden.
We recruited three focus group discussions with 18 physicians covering different specialities. The information from the groups was combined with a questionnaire administered at the beginning of the group discussions.
Physicians reported their needs for knowledge databases at the point of drug prescribing. This included more consistent information about existing and new drugs. They also wished to receive automatically generated alerts for severe drug-drug interactions and adverse effects, and to have functions for calculating glomerular filtration rate to enable appropriate dose adjustments to be made for elderly patients and those with impaired renal function. Additionally, features enhancing electronic communication with colleagues and making drug information more searchable were suggested.
The results from the current study showed the need for knowledge databases which provide consistent information about new and existing drugs. Most of the required information from physicians appeared to be possible to transfer from current SmPCs to CDSSs. However, inconsistencies in the SmPC information have to be reduced to enhance their utility.
- drug information
- PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS
- medical informatics
- focus group discussions
- ORDER ENTRY SYSTEMS
- drug labelling
- CLINICAL DECISION-SUPPORT
- decision support systems
- health services needs and demand