Medicine management is at the core of hospital care and digitalization of prescribing and administration of medicines is often the focus of attention of health IT programs. This may be conveyed to the public in terms of the elimination of paper-based drug charts and increased readability of doctors' prescriptions. Based on analysis of documents about hospital medicines supply and use (including systems' implementation) in the UK, in this conceptual paper electronic prescribing and administration are repositioned as only one aspect of an important wider transformation in medicine management in hospital settings, involving, for example, procurement, dispensing, auditing, waste management, research and safety vigilance. Approaching digitalization from a systemic perspective has the potential to uncover the wider implications of this transformation for patients, the organization and the wider health care system.
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