Logistics or patient care: Which features do independent Finnish pharmacy owners prioritize in a strategic plan for future information technology systems?

Anna M. Westerling, Veikko E. Haikala, J. Simon Bell, Marja Sisko Anneli Airaksinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine Finnish community pharmacy owners' requirements for the next generation of software systems. Design: Descriptive, nonexperimental, cross-sectional study. Setting: Finland during December 2006. Participants: 308 independent pharmacy owners. Intervention: Survey listing 126 features that could potentially be included in the new information technology (IT) system. The list was grouped into five categories: (1) drug information and patient counseling, (2) medication safety, (3) interprofessional collaboration, (4) pharmacy services, and (5) pharmacy internal processes. Main outcome measure: Perceived value of potential features for a new IT system. Results: The survey was mailed to all independent pharmacy owners in Finland (n = 580; response rate 53% [n = 308]). Respondents gave priority to logistical functions and functions related to drug information and patient care. The highest rated individual features were tracking product expiry (rated as very or quite important by 100% of respondents), computerized drug-drug interaction screening (99%), an electronic version of the national pharmaceutical reference book (97%), and a checklist-type drug information database to assist patient counseling (95%). Conclusion: In addition to the high ranking for logistical features, Finnish pharmacy owners put a priority on support for cognitive pharmaceutical services in the next IT system. Although the importance of logistical functions is understandable, the owners demonstrated a commitment to strategic health policy goals when planning their business IT system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Community pharmacy
  • Computers
  • Pharmaceutical care
  • Pharmacy ownership
  • Strategic planning
  • Technology

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