Pharmacist Elina Lämsä’s doctoral dissertation “Pharmacy customers’ experiences with electronic prescriptions – A survey during the nationwide implementation” is publicly examined at the University of Eastern Finland August 30th. The dissertation demonstrates that the introduction of electronic prescriptions has been successful from the perspective of pharmacy customers.
Customers’ experiences were assessed by means of a survey carried out in autumn 2015, with 1,288 pharmacy customer respondents from different parts of Finland. From a customer perspective, electronic prescriptions have been successful: 96% of respondents reported their overall satisfaction with the system. Only one in ten had experienced problems when purchasing medicines with an electronic prescription.
According to the Act on Electronic Prescriptions, patients must be given information about the service and their associated rights before the first prescription is issued. Customers had most commonly received information on how electronic prescriptions are used, what benefits they provide, and how prescription details can be checked by computer. The main points on which customers wanted more information concerned data protection and data security.
My Kanta is clear and easy to use
Of the respondents, 62% knew about the My Kanta web service, which is intended for viewing personal prescription and health information, and 78% of these had used the service to view their prescriptions. My Kanta service was considered clear and easy to use, and the service provided an up-to-date view of all prescriptions prescribed for the user.
– The fact that almost 40% of respondents did not know about My Kanta was surprising. While awareness of the service has probably increased since the survey, there will always be customers who are not willing or not able to use electronic services, Elina Lämsä says in the UEF dissertation press release (uef.fi).
The number of users of My Kanta Pages has increased threefold after the study was carried out by Lämsä in 2015. By the end of 2015, about one million different people had logged in to My Kanta Pages, whereas the number of three million different users was exceeded in late July 2019.
– Healthcare professionals must ensure that these patients have the same access to up-to-date information on prescriptions and their other health information, Lämsä adds.
Electronic prescriptions have been mandatory in Finland since the beginning of 2017.
Elina Lämsä conducted her doctoral research at the University of Eastern Finland School of Pharmacy as part of a larger research project assessing the effects of introducing electronic prescriptions in Finland. The project was funded by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.