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DGI-001 A Systematic Review of Perceptions of eHealth and Shared Care
  1. K MacLure,
  2. D Stewart,
  3. A Strath
  1. Robert Gordon University, School of Pharmacy & Life Sciences, Aberdeen, UK


Background The World Health Organization (WHO) defines eHealth as ‘the combined use of information and communications technologies for health’ [1]. eHealth strategies worldwide aim to promote quality, safety and efficiency by underpinning shared healthcare provision with technology. The Scottish eHealth Strategy incorporates an ePharmacy programme to support pharmacists’ increasing role in shared care [2]. It acknowledges organisational development and training for core and optional eHealth services as key.

Purpose To explore and report methodologies, findings and gaps in research related to healthcare professionals’ perceptions of the adoption of eHealth technologies for shared care.

Materials and Methods A systematic review was conducted using a meta-narrative approach [3]. Articles published post-2004 in English were included; articles on Internet searches for health information or email were excluded. Data were extracted, synthesised and summarised. Ethical approval was not required.

Results Screening reduced the initial 327 papers identified to 12 which included three reviews, four qualitative, two mixed-methods and three quantitative studies. Data were collected using questionnaires (3), case study (1), group (2) and individual (6) interviews, observation (3) and extraction of data from records (1). Practice settings were remote rural or urban featuring primary care, secondary care or both. The focus was on electronic records (7), telemedicine (2) or general eHealth implementation (3) from the perspective of doctors, nurses, IT developers, policy makers and managers. One study included the views of a hospital pharmacist. Acceptance of eHealth technologies is reported but with cost effectiveness, resourcing and training questioned. Emerging themes are organisational, social and technical.

Conclusions Strategists worldwide believe technology has the potential to promote quality, safety and efficiency in shared care where organisational, social and technical issues are addressed. However, evidence of hospital pharmacists’ views, their perceptions of eHealth and shared care, organisational development and training needs remain under-researched.


  1. World Health Organization (2010). Atlas eHealth country profiles: based on the findings of the second global survey on eHealth. WHO: Geneva.

  2. Scottish Government (2008). eHealth Strategy 2008–2011. Available online at: /27103130/13

  3. Greenhalgh, T. et al, (2005). Storylines of research in diffusion of innovation: a meta-narrative approach to systematic review. Social science & medicine, 61(2), pp. 417–430.

No conflict of interest.

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