Pharmaceutical Informatics

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What is it?

Also commonly called Pharma or Pharmacy Informatics, Pharmaceutical Informatics is a discipline of Health Informatics and pertains to the applications of technology and the use of information to pharmacy practices. It is not the study of drugs or the chemistry that makes them nor is the study of what drives the sales of drugs, though it can in aide such studies. In recent years, Pharma Informatics has been defined by our ability to renew our prescriptions online or mobile-y from popular chain pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, or Publix, but it's use goes beyond that. The goal is to establish predominantly electronic communications for medication and prescription data where

"clinicians send prescription orders to pharmacies through secure channels. Medication orders are verified with other patient records, prepared, and dispensed with higher quality, thus avoiding undue risks and negative interactions. With database inter-connectivity to insurance companies, medication orders are validated against formulary data and contracts to assure proper usage and payment."

Even now in the pharmacy field we are starting to see more and more use of networks and computers when it comes to Dr. office's sending in prescriptions. For the most part most pharmacies are computer system driven and rely on their database system's to help manage all sorts of patient information that comes through on a regular basis. The current area's that pharmaceutical informatics are involved in are:

  • Research and Development: The involvement of collecting and processing data on the medicine given out
  • Patient Profiling: To be able to have record of what is working with a patient and what's not, and to also help prevent abuse
  • Decision Support Systems: Feedback for medication across numerous patients to assist in future prescriptions of the medicine for similar or even dissimilar cases

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Lauren Johnson