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Pharmacy Informatics

- The use and integration of data, information, knowledge, technology, and

automation in the medication use process for the purpose of improving
health outcomes. (The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists)
- The application of technology and information systems to the medication
use process to improve outcomes, and increase safety and efficiency.
Who is an Informatics Pharmacist?
- Dual specialist
- Knowledgeable about both Pharmacy Practice and Informatics
Competencies and Characteristics of an Informatics Pharmacist
-communication Skills
-technology oriented
Roles of an Informatics Pharmacist
-ensure patient safety
-serve as a liaison between pharmacy and other departments
-provide education to healthcare professionals
-serve as a resource for hospital staf
Pharmacy Practice Applications
1. Support for Clinical Services
Specific clinical services:
a. Medication review
Drug Interaction Checking
Adverse Drug Reaction Identification
Laboratory Tests Interpretation
b. Medication counseling
c. Patient monitoring
d. Pharmaceutical care planning
e. Pharmacotherapy decisions
2. Pharmacy and Therapeutic activities
3. Publications
4. Education
5. Drug usage evaluation
6. Investigational drug research
7. Coordination of reporting programs
8. Poison information
Types of requested information (Medication information)
1. Pathophysiology
2. Symptomatology
3. Risk Factors
4. Causative Agents

6. Parmacotherapy
7. Non-drug
8. Lifestyle changes,

9. Drug Development
10. Pharmacognosy
11. Pharmacopeial

12. Biotechnology
13. Pharmaceutical

14. Pharmaceutical
15. Behavioral Studies

16. Basic & Applied

Research, etc.

Various Information Sources

The overall amount of medical information is growing at an alarming rate; even the
body of knowledge covering only drug information seems to be endless. There are
vast amounts of data on drugs that are approved by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), and on agents undergoing clinical investigation. There are
many sources of information available that can help answer drug-related questions.
Deciding which one is best for a specific situation is the key. This outline will discuss
drug information sources and explain how to efectively utilize them. Exercises
posted on the web, and the self-paced news group will assist you in developing the
skills to efficiently utilize these resources to better manage your patients' drug
related problems.
A. Primary Literature
Definition: Primary literature forms the foundation of the literature hierarchy. It is
the source of information for the development of secondary and tertiary literature
resources. Primary literature is comprised of original research that is written in the
author(s) own words. It consists of research studies, case reports, editorials, and
letters to the editor. Most primary literature contains a detailed description of the
study design, methodology, and scientific results. The reader is able to critique and
analyze the study in order to develop a conclusion.
Most current evidence
Provide data on new drugs
Can personally assess validity of studies
May not lead one to best decision because of limited scope
Data can be poor or controversial
Every study has limitations
Too complex for patients
New England Journal of Medicine
Archives of Internal Medicine
JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)
CHEST (from the American College of Chest Physicians)
Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Annals of Pharmacotherapy
British Medical Journal
B. Secondary Literature

Definition: The secondary literature is compiled by indexing and abstracting

services that can be used to systematically locate various types of published
literature. The indexing system usually provides bibliographic information indexed
by topic and will allow the user to view a brief description of the information within
most citations.
Can construct searches to find specific information at high granularity
Often require more expertise to use than primary or tertiary resources
Retrieved references must be filtered for quality
Must track down resources before looking for answers
Too complex for patients
Examples: PubMed/OVID/MedLine
C. Tertiary Literature
Definition: The information presented in tertiary literature is core knowledge
established via primary literature or accepted as standard of practice within the
medical community. Drug information contained in the tertiary literature is generally
well-established information that is approved and accepted by the FDA (i.e. a FDA
labeled indication) or well founded in the primary care literature (i.e. an unlabeled
but well-documented use for an FDA approved drug).
Provide comprehensive information
Information reflects views of multiple experts in field
Fast, easy to use, and may be good for patients
Usually at least 2 years out of date by publication
High dependency on interpretation of authors
**Pharmacists can address this by consulting at least 2 tertiary resources to find
corroborating information
Examples: Textbooks, Handbooks, Monographs, Compendia, Published symposia