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Purpose. The literature describing pharmacists’ use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) as intervention documentation tools in health systems is reviewed.
Methods. A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts to find articles whose title and abstract indicated that the articles’ content addressed pharmacists’ use of PDAs as intervention documentation tools. Qualitative analyses were conducted to characterize the existing literature on pharmacists’ use of PDAs to document interventions in health systems. The articles were categorized using eight characteristics: study type, objective, setting, participants, PDA platform, documentation software, results, and conclusions.
Results. A total of 12 articles were included in this review. All articles were classified as descriptive. Two studies lacked objectives, while 10 contained explicitly stated objectives or objectives that could be inferred from article content. The majority of implementation processes occurred in acute care teaching facilities. All study participants were pharmacists. The majority of articles described PDA-based documentation by more than one pharmacist. Results from the articles can be divided into four categories: no measurable comparison performed, anecdotal comparison performed, survey data reported, and measurable comparison performed. Three articles specifically presented information regarding security and confidentiality of patient information. Each article described the use of password protection for the PDAs.
Conclusion. The use of PDAs may increase the frequency and number of interventions documented by pharmacists; however, there is a lack of well-designed studies reporting the overall outcomes of using PDAs for intervention documentation by pharmacists.
- Patient information
- Pharmaceutical services
- Pharmacists, hospital
- Pharmacy, institutional, hospital
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