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Protocol for a scoping review to understand how interorganisational electronic health records affect hospital physician and pharmacist decisions

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Introduction: Patient records are often fragmented across organisations and departments in UK health and care services, often due to substandard information technology. However, although government policy in the UK and internationally is strongly pushing 'digital transformation', the evidence for the positive impact of electronic information systems on cost, quality and safety of healthcare is far from clear. In particular, the mechanisms by which information availability is translated into better decision-making are not well understood. We do not know when a full interorganisational record is more useful than a key information summary or an institutional record. In this paper, we describe our scoping review of how interorganisational electronic health records affect decision-making by hospital physicians and pharmacists. Methods and analysis: This scoping review will follow the Arksey and O'Malley (2005) methodology. The review has adopted sociotechnical systems thinking and the notion of distributed cognition as its guiding conceptual models. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Healthcare Databases Advanced Search will be used, as it incorporates key sources including PubMed, Medline, Embase, HMIC and Health Business Elite. A hand search will be conducted using the reference lists of included studies to identify additional relevant articles. A two-part study selection process will be used: (1) a title and abstract review and (2) full text review. During the first step, two researchers separately will review the citations yielded from the search to determine eligibility based on the defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Related articles will be included if they are empirical studies that address how interorganisational records affect decision-making by hospital physicians and pharmacists. Ethics and dissemination: The results will be disseminated through stakeholder meetings, conference presentations and peer-reviewed publication. The data used are from publicly available secondary sources, so this study does not require ethical review.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere023712
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019


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