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Exploring barriers to the sustainability of an electronic administration system in long-term care facilities: A case study approach

Karsan, Yasmin; Anderson, Claire; Boyd, Matthew J.; Thornley, Tracey


Yasmin Karsan

Tracey Thornley


The safe provision of medicines administration is a fundamental challenge faced in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Many residents of LTCFs are frail older persons with multiple morbidities, and in addition to polypharmacy, are particularly at risk of harm due to concomitant disease and disability. One potential method to optimise medication safety and facilitate medicines administration within LTCFs is the introduction of technology.

This paper explores the barriers to long-term sustainability concerning the use of an electronic administration system (eMAR) in LTCFs.

Fifteen in depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with LTCF staff (9), eMAR service commissioners (2), members of the implementation team (2) and care home strategy managers (2) across three LTCF sites. The study participants were purposefully sampled and each interview audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using Nvivo 11. In addition to interviews, observational notes were taken by the lead researcher from visits to the LCTFs as a form of data collection. The analysis process consisted of a two-stage process of thematic analysis then theoretical mapping.

Barriers identified were split into four main overarching areas: structural, implementation team, system user and operational barriers. The adoption of eMAR within this setting was welcomed by top-level stakeholders, however, LTCF staff displayed concerns over its usability. The lack of co-development and on-going training need highlighted barriers to its sustainability, in addition to risks associated with current legislation. The themes identified throughout the framework highlight challenges faced when exploring the sustainability of eMAR in LTCF.

The use of technology in health care is evolving. Awareness of actors relating to its introduction can have significant impact on success and service sustainability.


Karsan, Y., Anderson, C., Boyd, M. J., & Thornley, T. (2020). Exploring barriers to the sustainability of an electronic administration system in long-term care facilities: A case study approach. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 4, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 30, 2020
Publication Date 2020-08
Deposit Date Sep 4, 2020
Publicly Available Date Aug 31, 2021
Journal Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Print ISSN 1551-7411
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Pharmaceutical Science; Pharmacy
Public URL
Publisher URL


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