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PHARMACEUTICAL INFORMATICS

Pharmaceutical Informatics is the subset of Health Informatics that deals with the study, research and implementation of Information Technology and its applications in pharmaceutical practice. 1 It is now common for retail pharmacies to use computer systems for prescription management and billing, in addition to providing computer based education to patients and tracking medical compliance. Some retail pharmacies such as CVS Pharmacy now offer services over the Internet.


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Pharmaceutical Informatics has been involved in the following ares of pharmaceutical practice:

  • Research and Development: Pharmaceutical firms spend a lot of time and money researching and developing new drugs and in the process produce a lot of data, in addition to the data that is being produced by bioinformatics (especially the Human Genome Project). Data management and statistical analysis tools have made it easier for researchers to effectively manage the huge amount of data that being constantly produced on a daily basis.
  • Patient Profiling: It is now easier to keep track of medication that patients are taking presently, as well as medications they might have taken in the past as well. Exact details, such as past prescriptions and allergies, can be extracted from computer from computer systems.
  • Decision Support: Pharmaceutical Informatics have contributed to the development of decision support systems in areas such as choosing potential medications for a condition, offering alternatives based on past medical history and non-pharmacological conditions such as cost, providing literature support (evidence-based medicine) and listing of indications and contraindications.
  • Medication Information Systems (MIS): MIS are database systems that offer health information about medications. This information could include the composition of drugs, their uses, risks and side effects and food and drug interactions. The information from MIS is especially useful in educating patient about the medication they would be taking.
  • Telepharmacy: This is the provision of pharmaceutical care through the use of computer systems to patients at remote locations by a pharmacist.

References

  1. Pankaskie, Marvin.; Sullivan, Jodi. [WWW] Computers Open New Worlds, Pose New Problems. http://www.thenewalchemist.com/personal/publications/JAPHA_Jan-Feb_98_Article.htm (23RD April 2003)

Useful Links

  • Pharmaceutical Informatics
    A brief description of pharmaceutical informatics.
    http://www.aacp.org/memonly/sections/sadminsci/informat.htm

  • PharmacyInformatics.com
    A news and information portal on pharmaceutical informatics.
    http://www.pharmacyinformatics.com/

  • PharmacyInformatics.org
    Phamaceutical informatics site designed by students.
    http://www.pharmacyinformatics.org/

 

 

QUICK LINKS
International Medical Informatics Association
American Medical Informatics Association
UK Health Informatics Society
British Computer Society Health Informatics Committee
European Federation for Medical Informatics
American Nursing Informatics Association
American Telemedicine Association


Knowledge Center
Biomedical Informatics
Bioinformatics
Health Informatics
Clinical Informatics
Dental Informatics
Nursing Informatics
Pharmaceutical Informatics
Public Health Informatics
Veterinary Informatics
Telemedicine
Healthcare Technologies


Last Updated: 10 August 2006.



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