The field of Pharmacy Informatics seeks to apply informatics innovations and technologies in pharmacy settings. This includes electronic prescribing (E-Prescribing), tracking inventory, maintaining databases, and tracking adverse drug events. Pharmacy Informatics also benefits healthcare providers and patients alike by allowing better prescription practices and easier access to medications.
Role of Pharmacy Informatics
Pharmacy informaticians are required to contribute their knowledge, data, and analysis to bring out the best results of medication involved with patient care. Their performance of duty improves outcome and prevents medical malpractice. Pharmacy informatics has many different job titles.
- Informatics pharmacists- responsible for use of the current technology to provide patient care and provide data to staff, for a system infrastructure of pharmacy-hospital interfacing and for analyze what is needed and find systematic solutions for all pharmaceutical services.
- Pharmacy information systems technical specialist- responsible for database management in pharmacy system, maintain the system, update pricing information, manage patient accounts for billing.
- Pharmacist practitioner IT- responsible for work with department of ITS to improve and maintain the program, for testing system code changes, for training pharmacists and technicians on information system.
- Clinical informatics pharmacist- responsible for managing principles for safe use of order sets and standard order set clinical content, for participating in running test for human factors issues before and after systematic upgrades.
- Pharmacy informatics support specialist- responsible for distribution of drugs with computerized system, for managing medications in Pyxis machines and maintaining electronic databases aspect of Pyxis machines.
- Computer support Pharmacist- responsible for information systems support and medication distribution support, for maintaining computer systems for department of Pharmacy, for entering medication orders accurately, and for monitoring physician order.
- More pharmacy informatics jobs- staff pharmacist information systems, clinical coordinator-info system specialist, clinical coordinator technology systems, pharmacy information systems programmer/analyst, data coordinator/analyst, clinical pharmacist informatics, CPOE systems analyst in pharmacy, clinical pharmacist informatics Epic and system analyst.
- IT related pharmacy technician jobs- pharmacy systems coordinator, registered pharmacy informatics technician, computer pharmacy technician and automation pharmacy technician. 
Benefits of Pharmacy Informatics
There are many benefits of pharmacy informatics. One of the benefits of pharmacy informatics is order entry into the pharmacy information system. It is used to check if the medication’s dosage and package size matches to physician order. Online order verification, computer supported medication supply, automated label generation are part of benefits. Another benefit is the computerized warning for drug interaction, drug allergies, dosing based on patient’s age and weight, disease state effects allowing prescription depending on patient’s body condition, and lab test interference are available. Also, pharmacy informatics provides an inventory and purchasing management, convenient to keep track of stocks. Reporting function is very useful to determine the pattern of medical usage of patients or physicians, to view the workload of transactions for certain period of time and to view financial costing to report revenue and set budget. Finally, computerized pharmacy billing is another good benefit of pharmacy informatics. Most of pharmacies have computerized billing system to track patient admissions, current location and some patient charges are sent from the pharmacy.
Electronic Prescribing (E-prescribing)
E-prescribing is the practice of using electronic means to prescribe medicine. Pharmacy informaticists use electronic medical record systems (EMRs) to enter and generate a prescription. This practice reduces medical errors and allows patients easier and faster access to prescription medications than with paper records. When combined with electronic decision assistance, this practice can allow for the fine-tuning of dosage calculations and reduce the chance of overdose and other adverse reactions.
[http://www.highperformancepharmacy.com/pdf/case_studies/279.pdf ASHP national survey on informatics: Assessment of the adoption and use of pharmacy informatics in U.S. hospitals]
ASHP (2014). IT pharmacist Job Description. Retrieved from http://www.ashp.org/menu/PracticePolicy/ResourceCenters/Pharmacy-Informatics/ITPharmacistJobDescriptions.aspx#1
Troiano, D. (1999). A Primer on Pharmacy Information Systems. Journal of Healthcare Information Management, 13(3), 41-52.
Flynn, A. (2005). The Current State of Pharmacy Informatics Education in Professional Programs at US Colleges of Pharmacy, American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 69(4), 490-494.
- ASHP (2014). IT pharmacist Job Description. Retrieved from http://www.ashp.org/menu/PracticePolicy/ResourceCenters/Pharmacy-Informatics/ITPharmacistJobDescriptions.aspx#1
- Troiano, D. (1999). A Primer on Pharmacy Information Systems. Journal of Healthcare Information Management, 13(3), 41-52.
- Flynn, A. (2005). The Current State of Pharmacy Informatics Education in Professional Programs at US Colleges of Pharmacy, American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 69(4), 490-494.
Submitted by Kailey Choi