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Pharmacy information systems (PIS) are complex computer systems that have been designed to meet the needs of a pharmacy department. Through the use of such systems, pharmacists can supervise and have inputs on how medication is used in a hospital.

Some of the activities which Pharmacy Information Systems have been employed in pharmacy departments include:

  • Clinical Screening: The Pharmacy Information System can assist in patient care by the monitoring of drug interactions, drug allergies and other possible medication-related complications.

    When a prescription order is entered, the system can check to see if there are any interactions between two or more drugs taken by the patient simultaneously or with any typical food, any known allergies to the drug, and if the appropriate dosage has been given based on the patient’s age, weight and other physiologic factors. Alerts and flags come up when the system picks up any of these.


  • Prescription Management: The Pharmacy Information System can also be use to mange prescription for inpatients and/or outpatients. When prescription orders are received, the orders are matched to available pharmaceutical products and then dispensed accordingly depending on whether the patient is an inpatient or outpatient.

    It is possible to track all prescriptions passed through the system from who prescribed the drug, when it was prescribed to when it was dispensed.

    It is also possible to print out prescription labels and instructions on how medication should be taken based on the prescription.

  • Inventory Management: Pharmacies require a continuous inventory culture in order to ensure that drugs do not go out of stock. This is made even more difficult when there are multiple dispensing points. When don manually it is very difficult to maintain an accurate inventory.

    Pharmacy Information Systems aid inventory management by maintaining an internal inventory of all pharmaceutical products, providing alerts when the quantity of an item is below a set quantity and providing an electronic ordering system that recommends the ordering of the affected item and with the appropriate quantity from approved suppliers.

  • Patient Drug Profiles: These are patient profiles managed by the Pharmacy Information System and contain details of their current and past medications, known allergies and physiological parameters. These profiles are used for used for clinical screening anytime a prescription is ordered for the patient.

  • Report Generation: Most Pharmacy Information Systems can generate reports which range from determining medication usage patterns in the hospital to the cost of drugs purchased and /or dispensed.

  • Interactivity with other systems: It is important that Pharmacy Information Systems should be able to interact with other available systems such as the clinical information systems to receive prescription orders and financial information system for billing and charging.



International Medical Informatics Association
American Medical Informatics Association
UK Health Informatics Society
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

Knowledge Center
Biomedical Informatics
Health Informatics
Healthcare Technologies
Hospital Information Systems
Healthcare Information Systems Topics
Clinical Information Systems
Financial Information Systems
Laboratory Information Systems
Nursing Information Systems
Pharmacy Information Systems
Radiology Information Systems

Last Updated: 10 August 2006.

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