Opportunities for clinical decision support targeting medication safety in remote primary care management of chronic kidney disease: A qualitative study in Northern Australia

Madeleine SA Tan, Bhavini K Patel, Elizabeth E Roughead, Michael Ward, Stephanie E Reuter, Gregory Roberts, Andre Q Andrade

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Introduction: This study aimed to identify opportunities for clinical decision support targeting medication safety in remote primary care, by investigating the relationship between clinical workflows, health system priorities, cognitive tasks, and reasoning processes in the context of medicines used in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Methods: This qualitative study involved one-on-one, semi-structured interviews. The participants were healthcare professionals employed in a clinical or managerial capacity with clinical work experience in a remote health setting for at least 1 year.
Results: Twenty-five clinicians were interviewed. Of these, four were rural medical practitioners, nine were remote area nurses, eight were Aboriginal health practitioners, and four were pharmacists. Four major themes were identified from the interviews: (1) the need for a clinical decision support system to support a sustainable remote health workforce, as clinicians were “constantly stretched” and problems may “fall through the cracks”; (2) reliance on digital health technologies, as medical staff are often not physically available and clinicians-on-duty usually “flick an email and give a call so that I can actually talk it through to our GP”; (3) knowledge gaps, as “it takes a lot of mental space” to know each patient's renal function and their medication history, and clinicians believe “mistakes can be made”; and (4) multiple risk factors impacting CKD management, including clinical, social and behavioural determinants.
Conclusions: The high prevalence of CKD and reliance on digital health systems in remote primary health settings can make a clinical decision support system valuable for supporting clinicians who may not have extensive experience in managing medicines for people with CKD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Early online date11 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Oct 2023

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