Pharmacy informatics in multihospital health systems: Opportunities and challenges.

Chalmers J, Siska M, Le T, Knoer S
Am J Health Syst Pharm 75 457-464 04/01/2018


PURPOSE: Challenges and opportunities in managing pharmacy-related technology in a multihospital health system are reviewed.

SUMMARY: With electronic medical record (EMR) implementations, pharmacy technology deployments, and increased numbers of hospitals merging into single health systems, opportunities and challenges for pharmacy informatics (PI) teams have grown. Pharmacy leaders must consider the implications of using technology in a multihospital health-system environment, as well as the impact of the health system's organizational structures on technology implementations and dedicated support teams. Common challenges in achieving EMR and other technology implementation and standardization initiatives in multihospital health systems include harmonization of practices across hospitals of various sizes and types and issues of platform compatibility and interoperability. PI teams must collaborate with information technology teams at the system level to identify practical strategies for making the best use of available resources to implement pharmacy automation and software to help pharmacists continue to provide safe and effective patient care. The organizational structures that affect informatics teams, pharmacy integration and standardization initiatives, formulary management practices, data management and analytics, and clinical decision support systems all must be areas of focus.

CONCLUSION: An integrated pharmacy enterprise can be well positioned to leverage operational efficiencies gained from appropriate use of technology to enhance patient care. Careful attention must be paid to the manner in which these systems are designed, implemented, and managed in order to make the best use of the technological resources used by the health system.

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