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Patient, Caregiver, and Clinician Experience with a Technologically Enabled Pillbox: A Qualitative Study

Shannon EM, Mueller SK, Schnipper JL. Patient, Caregiver, and Clinician Experience with a Technologically Enabled Pillbox: A Qualitative Study. ACI open. 2023 Jul 28; 7(2):e61-e70.

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Objectives As part of a study to assess whether a technologically enabled pillbox prescribed to patients at hospital discharge can improve medication safety, we sought to assess participant experiences with the intervention. Methods We conducted a series of semi-structured phone interviews with patients, patient caregivers, and inpatient and outpatient clinicians who participated in the Smart Pillbox Transition Study. We developed an interview guide using the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) framework, which included the a priori domains of (1) barriers to implementation, (2) facilitators of the intervention, and (3) general feedback regarding experience with the intervention. Within these domains, we employed SEIPS-informed themes of environment and organization, logistics and tasks, personnel and patients, and technology and tools. Interviews were conducted between May 2018 and January 2019. We used content analysis to interpret findings. Results We interviewed 6 patients, 2 caregivers, and 5 inpatient and 2 outpatient clinicians. Patient-endorsed barriers in the theme of technology and tools included signal issues, inappropriate alarms, and portability. Barriers in the theme of logistics and tasks included coordination with pharmacists in the event of a prescription change. Barriers mentioned by clinicians included patients who were poor fits for the intervention (theme: personnel and patients) and competing demands at discharge (theme: logistics and tasks). Facilitators that were frequently mentioned by patients and caregivers in the theme of technology and tools included useful alarms and ease of use. Clinicians stated that communication with pharmacy and study staff helped facilitate the intervention (theme: personnel and patients). Conclusion We identified several key barriers and facilitators from patients, caregivers, and clinicians to successful implementation of this intervention. Reconciling these sometimes contrasting viewpoints will be crucial if the Smart Pillbox or similar health information technology interventions are to be adopted as tools to improve medication safety during care transitions. Keywords discharge planning - patient self-care - home care and e-health - wireless devices - adverse drug event - medication adherence

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