Task analysis of IT-mediated medication management in outpatient care

F. van Stiphout*, J.E.F. Zwart-van Rijkom, L.A. Maggio, J.E.C.M. Aarts, D.W. Bates, T. van Gelder, P.A.F. Jansen, J.M.C. Schraagen, A.C.G. Egberts, E.W.M.T. ter Braak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Aim Educating physicians in the procedural as well as cognitive skills of IT-mediated medication management could be one of the missing links for improvement of patient safety. We aimed to compose a framework of tasks that need to be addressed to optimize medication management in outpatient care. Methods Formal task analysis: decomposition of a complex task into a set of subtasks. First, we obtained a general description of the medication management process from exploratory interviews. Secondly, we interviewed experts in-depth to further define tasks and subtasks. Setting: Outpatient care in different fields of medicine in six teaching and academic medical centers in the Netherlands and the United States. Participants: 20 experts. Tasks were decomposed into procedural, cognitive and macrocognitive tasks and categorized into the three components of dynamic decision-making. Results The medication management process consists of three components: (1) reviewing the medication situation, (2) composing a treatment plan, and (3) accomplishing and communicate a treatment and surveillance plan. Subtasks include multiple cognitive tasks such as composing a list of current medication and evaluating the reliability of sources, and procedural tasks such as documenting current medication. The identified macrocognitive tasks were: planning, integration of information technology (IT) in workflow, managing uncertainties and responsibilities, and problem detection. Conclusion All identified procedural, cognitive and macrocognitive skills should be included when designing education for IT-mediated medication management. The resulting framework supports the design of educational interventions to improve IT-mediated medication management in outpatient care
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-424
JournalBritish journal of clinical pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2015


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