BACKGROUND: When a patient is admitted to a hospital, the need for information about the medications prescribed is an important issue. OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to assess whether electronic communication between the GP and the pharmacist provides better information regarding current medication when a patient is admitted to the hospital than paper-based communication. METHODS: A prospective study was carried out whereby on the day of admission and 10 days after discharge, three different data collectors independently asked the patient, the GP and the pharmacist details of the patient's current medication. Five GPs and a local pharmacy relying on electronic communication, and five GPs and a local pharmacy relying on paper-based communication were studied. RESULTS: A total of 139 patients were included on the first day of their admission, and 116 on the tenth day after discharge. Of the 275 drugs that the patient, the GP and/or the pharmacist reported on admission in the electronic group, 134 (49%) were reported by the patient, the GP and the pharmacist, and 79 (29%) were not reported by the patient. For the paper group, these figures were 340 drugs on admission, of which 107 (31%) were reported by the patient, the GP and the pharmacist, while 130 (38%) were not reported by the patient. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that electronic communication between the GP and the community pharmacist results in a better agreement between them with respect to the current medication of the patient than paper-based communication. However, electronic communication does not suffice as a solution to obtain reliable information.

*Clinical Pharmacy Information Systems, *Interprofessional Relations, Community Pharmacy Services/*organization & administration, Comparative Study, Continuity of Patient Care/*standards, Documentation, Family Practice/*organization & administration, Hospital Records/standards, Humans, Internet, Netherlands, Patient Admission/standards, Patient Discharge/standards, Prescriptions, Drug, Process Assessment (Health Care), Prospective Studies, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Telecommunications
hdl.handle.net/1765/9802
Family Practice: an international journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Kam, W.J, Meyboom de Jong, B, Tromp, T.F, Moorman, P.W, & van der Lei, J. (2001). Effects of electronic communication between the GP and the pharmacist. The quality of medication data on admission and after discharge. Family Practice: an international journal. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/9802