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, Johannes Martinus Cornelis Schraagen, A.C.G. Egberts, E.W.M.T. ter Braak

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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 languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)415-424
JournalBritish journal of clinical pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2015


  • METIS-310141
  • IR-95348

Cite this

van Stiphout, F., Zwart-van Rijkom, J. E. F., Maggio, L. A., Aarts, J. E. C. M., Bates, D. W., van Gelder, T., ... ter Braak, E. W. M. T. (2015). Task analysis of IT-mediated medication management in outpatient care. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 80(3), 415-424. https://doi.org/10.1111/bcp.12625